X-ray-induced bio-acoustic emissions from cultured cells
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PURPOSE: We characterize for the first time the emission of acoustic waves from cultured cells irradiated with X-ray photon radiation. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Human cancer cell lines (MCF-7, HL-60) and control cell-free media were exposed to 1 Gy X-ray photons while recording the sound generated before, during and after irradiation using custom large-bandwidth ultrasound transducer. The effects of dose rate and cell viability were investigated. RESULTS: We report the first recorded acoustic signals captured from a collective pressure wave response to ionizing irradiation in cell culture. The acoustic signal was co-terminous with the radiation pulse, its magnitude was dependent on radiation dose rate, and live and dead cells showed qualitatively and quantitatively different acoustic signal characteristics. The signature of the collective acoustic peaks was temporally wider and with higher acoustic power for irradiated HL-60 than for irradiated MCF-7. CONCLUSIONS: We show that X-ray irradiation induces two cultured cancer cell types to emit a characteristic acoustic signal for the duration of the radiation pulse. The rapid decay of the signal excludes acoustic emissions themselves from contributing to the inter-organism bystander signal previously reported in intact animals, but they remain a potential component of the bystander process in tissues and cell cultures. This preliminary study suggests that further work on the potential role of radiation-induced acoustic emission (RIAE) in the inter-cellular bystander effect is merited.
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