F E McNeill

McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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Publications (94)167.95 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Gadolinium (Gd) based contrast agents are routinely used as part of many magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedures. The widespread use of these agents and concerns about Gd toxicity, motivated us to develop a monitoring procedure that could non-invasively measure quantitatively potential retention of toxic free Gd in tissues after use of the agent. We have been developing a method to measure Gd painlessly and non-invasively by prompt gamma neutron activation analysis. In this paper we present the results of a pilot study where we show that we can measure Gd, quantitatively in vivo, in the lower leg muscle of 10 participants. A series of three neutron leg scans were performed. The effective radiation dose for a single neutron leg scan was very low, 0.6 µSv, so multiple scans were possible. Calibration phantom and in vivo detection limits were determined to be identical: 0.58 ppm. Gd was not detectable in muscle prior to exposure to the contrast agent Gadovist®. Gd was detected, at greater than 99% confidence, in 9 participants within 1 h of contrast administration and in 1 participant approximately 3.3 h post-contrast administration. The measured concentrations of Gd ranged from 2.0 to 17.3 ppm (6.9 to 56 uncertainties different from zero). No detectable Gd was measured in any participant in the third neutron scan (conducted 0.7 to 5.9 d post-contrast). The results of this study validate our new measurement technology. This technique could be used as a non-invasive monitoring procedure for exposure and retention of Gd from Gd-based chelates used in MRI.
    Physiological Measurement 08/2014; 35(9):1861. · 1.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The overwhelming proportion of the mass of lead (Pb) is stored in bone and the residence time of Pb in bone is much longer than that in other tissues. Hence, in a metabolic model that we used to solve the differential equations governing the transfer of lead between body compartments, three main compartments are involved: blood (as a transfer compartment), cortical bone (tibia), and trabecular bone (calcaneus). There is a bidirectional connection between blood and the other two compartments. A grid search chi-squared minimization method was used to estimate the initial values of lead transfer rate values from tibia (λTB) and calcaneus (λCB) to blood of 209 smelter employees whose bone lead measurements are available from 1994, 1999, and 2008, and their blood lead level from 1967 onwards (depending on exposure history from once per month to once per year), and then the initial values of kinematic parameters were used to develop multivariate models in order to express λTB and λCB as a function of employment time, age, body lead contents and their interaction. We observed a significant decrease in the transfer rate of lead from bone to blood with increasing body lead contents. The model was tested by calculating the bone lead concentration in 1999 and 2008, and by comparing those values with the measured ones. A good agreement was found between the calculated and measured tibia/calcaneus lead values. Also, we found that the transfer rate of lead from tibia to blood can be expressed solely as a function of cumulative blood lead index.
    Environmental science. Processes & impacts. 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In radiation biology experiments often cells are irradiated using charged particles with the intention that only a specified number of cells are hit by the primary ion track. However, in doing so several other materials such as the cell container and the growth media etc. are also irradiated, and UV radiation emitted from these materials can potentially interact with the cells. We have hypothesized that some “bystander effects” that are thought to be chemically mediated, may be, in fact, a physical effect, where UV is interacting with non-targeted cells. Based upon our hypothesis we quantified the emission of UV from Polypropylene, Mylar, Teflon, and Cellophane which are all commonly used materials in radiation biology experiments. Additionally we measured the NIST standard materials of Oyster tissue and Citrus leaves as these powdered materials are derived from living cells. Protons accelerated up to an energy of 2.2 MeV, in a 3 MV Van de Graff accelerator, were used for irradiation. Beam current was kept to 10 nA, which corresponds to a proton fluence rate of 2.7 × 1010 protons mm−2 s−1. All the materials were found to emit light at UV frequencies and intensities that were significant enough to conduct a further investigation for their biological consequences. Mylar and polypropylene are commonly used in radiation induced bystander effect studies and are considered to be non-fluorescent. However our study showed that this is not the case. Significant luminescence observed from the irradiated NIST standard reference materials for Oyster tissue and Citrus leaves verified that the luminescence emission is not restricted only to the polymeric materials that are used to contain cells. It can also occur from ion interactions within the cells as well.
    Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B. 01/2014; 319:48-54.
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    ABSTRACT: We previously published a method for the in vivo measurement of bone fluoride using neutron activation analysis (NAA) and demonstrated the utility of the technique in a pilot study of environmentally exposed people. The method involved activation of the hand in an irradiation cavity at the McMaster University Accelerator Laboratory and acquisition of the resultant γ-ray signals in a '4π' NaI(Tl) detector array of nine detectors. In this paper we describe a series of improvements to the method. This was investigated via measurement of hand simulating phantoms doped with varying levels of fluorine and fixed amounts of sodium, chlorine and calcium. Four improvements to the technique were tested since our first publication. The previously published detection limit for phantom measurements using this system was 0.66 mg F/g Ca. The accelerator irradiation and detection facilities were relocated to a new section of the laboratory and one more detector was added to the detection system. This was found to reduce the detection limit (possibly because of better detection shielding and additional detector) to 0.59 mg F/g Ca, a factor of 1.12. A new set of phantoms was developed and in this work we show that they improved the minimum detectable limit for fluoride in phantoms irradiated using neutrons produced by 2.15 MeV protons on lithium by a factor of 1.55. We compared the detection limits previously obtained using a summed signal from the nine detectors with the detection limit obtained by acquiring the spectra in anticoincidence mode for reduction of the disturbing signal from chlorine in bone. This was found to improve the ratio of the detection of fluorine to chlorine (an interfering signal) by a factor of 2.8 and the resultant minimum detection limit was found to be reduced by a factor of 1.2. We studied the effects of changing the timing of γ-ray acquisition. Our previously published data used a series of three 10 s acquisitions followed by a 300 s count. Changing the acquisition to a series of six 5 s acquisitions was found to further improve the detection limit by a factor of 1.4. We also present data showing that if the neutron dose is delivered to the phantom in a shorter time period, i.e. the dose rate is increased and irradiation shortened then the detection limit can be reduced by a further factor of 1.35.The overall improvement in detection limit by employing all of these changes was found to be a factor of 3.9. The technique now has an in phantom detection limit of 0.17 mg F/g Ca compared to a previous detection limit of 0.66 mg F/g Ca. The system can now be tested on human volunteers to see if individuals with diagnosed fluorosis can be distinguished from the general Canadian population using this technique.
    Physiological Measurement 09/2013; 34(10):1329-1341. · 1.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Arsenic (As) distribution in nail clippings from three healthy human subjects was investigated using the microbeam experimental setup of the hard x-ray micro-analysis (HXMA) beamline from the Canadian Light Source (CLS) synchrotron. A pair of toenail and fingernail clippings was collected from each of three subjects (one contributed two fingernail clippings). The fingernail and toenail clippings were embedded in polyester resin and cut in cross-sectional slices with an average thickness of 270 µm. Nine nail clipping cross sections were analyzed from the three subjects. The same method was used to produce five cross sections of nail phantom clippings with concentrations of As ranging from 0 to 20 µg g(-1), in increments of 5 µg g(-1). These samples were used to produce a calibration line for the As Kα peak. The energy of the x-ray beam was set at 13 keV for optimal excitation of As and the beam size was 28 × 10 µm(2). Each sample was analyzed using a point-by-point scanning technique in a 45° beam-sample and 90° beam-detector geometry. The dwelling time was set at 30 s for the human nail clippings and 20 s for the nail phantom clippings, using a step size of 50 µm in both the horizontal and vertical directions for all samples. As concentration for each point was calculated based on the calibration line parameters and the fitted amplitude of the observed As Kα peak. As concentration maps were produced for each nail clipping cross section. The maps show that small regions (<0.1 mm(2)) with higher As concentrations (>1 µg g(-1)) are located predominantly in the ventral and dorsal layers of the nail. The results are in agreement with findings reported in a recent study and can be linked to nail histology and keratin structure.
    Physiological Measurement 08/2013; 34(9):1163-1177. · 1.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fluorine is an element that can be either beneficial or harmful, depending on the total amount accumulated in the teeth or bones. In our laboratory, we have developed a non-invasive technique for the in vivo measurement of fluoride in bone using neutron activation analysis and performed the first pilot human study. Fluoride in humans is quantified by comparing the γ-ray signal from a person to the γ-ray signal obtained from appropriate anthropomorphic calibration phantoms. An identified problem with existing fluoride phantoms is contamination with aluminum. Aluminum creates an interfering γ-ray signal which, although it can be subtracted out, increases the uncertainty in the measurement and worsens the detection limit. This paper outlines a series of studies undertaken to develop a better calibration phantom for fluorine measurement, which does not have aluminum contamination.
    Physiological Measurement 04/2013; 34(5):503-512. · 1.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In vivo monitoring of trace and biometals in skin is normally quantified using phantoms that assume a constant elemental distribution within the skin. Layered calibration skin phantoms could potentially improve the reliability of in vivo calibration skin phantoms by better representing the actual in vivo distribution. This work investigates the micro-distribution of iron, calcium and zinc in prepared human skin samples taken from a number of locations on the body. Slices (orientation running from the skin surface into the dermis) were extracted from 18 formalin-fixed necropsy samples and scanned using the micro-XRF setup at the VESPERS beamline (Canadian Light Source). Elemental surface maps were produced using a 6×6μm(2) beam in steps of 10μm. Microscope images of histology slides were obtained for comparison. Statistically significant differences (p<0.01) were noted between the epidermal and dermal layers of skin for the elements examined (Ca, Fe and Zn), demonstrating the ability to clearly distinguish elemental content in each layer. Iron was consistently noted at the epidermal/dermal boundary. These results would indicate that when using phantoms to quantify elemental levels measured in the skin, note should be taken of the appropriate depth distribution.
    Applied radiation and isotopes: including data, instrumentation and methods for use in agriculture, industry and medicine 03/2013; 77C:68-75. · 1.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, we aimed to establish the emission of UV photons when HPV-G cells and associated materials (such as the cell substrate and cell growth media) are exposed to low LET radiation. The potential role of UV photons in the secondary triggering of biological processes led us to hypothesize that the emission and absorption of photons at this wavelength explain some radiation induced "bystander effects" that have previously been thought to be chemically mediated. Cells were plated in Petri-dishes of two different sizes, having different thicknesses of polystyrene (PS) substrate, and were exposed to β-radiation from (90)Y produced by the McMaster Nuclear Reactor. UV measurements were performed using a single photon counting system employing an interference-type filter for selection of a narrow wavelength range, 340±5 nm, of photons. Exposure of the cell substrates (which were made of polystyrene) determined that UV photons were being emitted as a consequence of β particle irradiation of the Petri-dishes. For a tightly collimated β-particle beam exposure, we observed 167 photons in the detector per unit μCi in the shielded source for a 1.76 mm thick substrate and 158 photons/μCi for a 0.878 mm thick substrate. A unit μCi source activity was equivalent to an exposure to the substrate of 18 β-particles/cm(2) in this case. The presence of cells and medium in a Petri-dish was found to significantly increase (up to a maximum of 250%) the measured number of photons in a narrow band of wavelengths of 340±5 nm (i.e. UVA) as compared to the signal from an empty control Petri-dish. When coloured growth medium was added to the cells, it reduced the measured count rate, while the addition of transparent medium in equal volume increased the count rate, compared to cells alone. We attribute this to the fact that emission, scattering and absorption of light by cells and media are all variables in the experiment. Under collimated irradiation conditions, it was observed that increasing cell density in medium of fixed volume resulted in a decrease in the observed light output. This followed a roughly exponential decline. We suggest that this may be due to increased scattering at the cell boundary and absorption of the UV in the cells. We conclude that we have measured UVA emitted by cells, cell medium and cell substrates as a consequence of their irradiation by low LET β-particle radiation. We suggest that these secondary UV photons could lead to effects in non-targetted cells. Some effects that had previously been attributed to a chemically mediated "bystander effect" may in fact be due to secondary UV emission. Some radiation bystander effect studies may require re-interpretation as this phenomenon of UV emission is further investigated.
    Dose-Response 01/2013; 11:498-516. · 1.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The goal of a microbeam is to deliver a highly localized and small dose to the biological medium. This can be achieved by using a set of collimators that confine the charged particle beam to a very small spatial area of the order of microns in diameter. By using a system that combines an appropriate beam detection method that signals to a beam shut-down mechanism, a predetermined and counted number of energetic particles can be delivered to targeted biological cells. Since the shutter and the collimators block a significant proportion of the beam, there is a probability of the production of low energy X-rays and secondary electrons through interactions with the beam. There is little information in the biological microbeam literature on potential X-ray production. We therefore used Monte Carlo simulations to investigate the potential production of particle-induced X-rays and secondary electrons in the collimation system (which is predominantly made of tungsten) and the subsequent possible effects on the total absorbed dose delivered to the biological medium.We found, through the simulation, no evidence of the escape of X-rays or secondary electrons from the collimation system for proton energies up to 3 MeV as we found that the thickness of the collimators is sufficient to reabsorb all of the generated low energy X-rays and secondary electrons. However, if the proton energy exceeds 3 MeV our simulations suggest that 10 keV X-rays can escape the collimator and expose the overlying layer of cells and medium. If the proton energy is further increased to 4.5 MeV or beyond, the collimator can become a significant source of 10 keV and 59 keV X-rays. These additional radiation fields could have effects on cells and these results should be verified through experimental measurement. We suggest that researchers using biological microbeams at higher energies need to be aware that cells may be exposed to a mixed LET radiation field and be careful in their interpretation of data.Two other factors can affect the pattern of dose deposition in the biological medium: the phase space distribution of the beam particles and the production of secondary electrons (known as δ-rays). We investigated this by projecting simulated particles oriented at small angles with the beam axis. For lower fluence (2.6 × 104 protons mm−2), we determined that despite only the target cell being assumed to be hit by the particle beam, some significant level of radiation dose was, in fact, delivered to the adjacent cells. This was most probably due to secondary electrons. The simulation showed that two of the cells adjacent to the target cell received 42% and 5% of the dose delivered to the target cell per proton. When the incident fluence on the collimator was increased to 1.3 × 106 protons mm−2, it was observed that a significant number of protons deflected from the collimator spread into an area of 4340 μm2. This is a significant spread when compared to the target area of 25 μm2. The maximum number of particles that were delivered off-target was 25% of the particles delivered to the target cell. This equates to a probability of delivering 1 particle anywhere in an area of 4340 μm2 for every 4 particles delivered to the target cell. This result has significant implications. Results of this work warrant a further investigation because if these results can be re validated, perhaps experimentally or through another simulation code, then they may have significant implications on the interpretation of published data from biological microbeam experiments.
    Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms 01/2013; 295:30–37. · 1.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 494 smelter employees from New Brunswick participated in a bone lead survey conducted by McMaster University in 2008, using the four element "clover-leaf" geometry germanium detector system. The employees were measured at two different bone sites, tibia and calcaneus, each measurement lasting 30 minutes. Scattered photons, including Pb X-rays, were collected by the germanium detectors located behind the (109)Cd source. A strong positive correlation was observed between tibia and calcaneus lead concentrations. Having been provided with blood lead levels, a cumulative blood lead index (CBLI) was generated. The employees were classified into four groups based on their date of hire, and their CBLI levels were compared to their tibia and calcaneus lead concentrations in the different groups. The slopes of bone Pb versus CBLI varied amongst groups, with those hired earliest showing the steepest slopes. This could be taken to imply a non-linearity in the uptake of Pb by bone from blood. In this paper, the association of the bone lead concentrations versus CBLI has been expressed by a polynomial function for the whole group of employees.
    Journal of Environmental Monitoring 11/2012; · 2.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this work is quantify the light emitted as a result of charged particle interaction in materials which may be of relevance to radiation induced “bystander effects” studies. We have developed a system which employs single photon counting to measure the light emitted from samples irradiated under vacuum by a charged particle beam. The system uses a fast photomultiplier tube with a peak cathode response at 420 nm. It has been tested in a proof-of-principle experiment using polystyrene targets. Light output, as a result of irradiation, was measured. The luminescence yield appears to have a non-linear behavior with the incident ion fluence: it rises exponentially to an asymptotic value. The target was irradiated with beam energies varying from 1 to 2 MeV and showed saturation at or before an incident fluence rate of 3 × 1013 H+/cm2 s. The average saturation value for the photon output was found to be 40 × 106 cps. Some measurements were performed using filters to study the emission at specific wavelengths. In the case of filtered light measurements, the photon output was found to saturate at 28 × 103, 10 × 106, and 35 × 106 cps for wavelengths of 280 ± 5 nm, 320 ± 5 nm and 340 ± 5 nm respectively. The light output reaches a maximum value because of damage induced in the polymer. Our measurements indicate a “damage cross section” of the order of 10−14 cm2. The average radiant intensity was found to increase at wavelengths of 280 and 320 nm when the proton energy was increased. This was not found to occur at 340 nm. In conclusion, the light emission at specific wavelengths was found to depend upon the incident proton fluence and the proton energy. The wavelengths of the emitted light measured in this study have significance for the understanding of radiation induced bystander effects.
    Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms 10/2012; 288:81–88. · 1.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have extended our previous experimental and Monte–Carlo work on the detection of Gd by in vivo prompt gamma neutron activation analysis to include X ray emission. In this paper we incorporate the characteristic K X ray emission that occurs due to internal conversion from the de-excitation of the 155Gd(n,γ)156Gd∗ and 157Gd(n,γ)158Gd∗ reactions. The experimental Gd K X ray intensities are compared with the Monte–Carlo model and demonstrate excellent agreement. The experiment was consistently higher than simulation by 5%. For the detection system used, the Gd Kα X rays are about 1.5 times as intense as the most dominant prompt gamma ray from the 157Gd(n,γ) reaction. The partial elemental cross section for Kα X ray emission is ∼1.35 times larger than that of the most dominant prompt gamma ray from neutron capture of 157Gd alone. The use of the K X rays was found to improve the sensitivity of the proposed system to measure Gd retention after exposure to a Gd-based MRI contrast agent. The detection limit in phantoms was ∼30% better when the X ray signal was incorporated into the analysis method, reducing the detection limit from 0.89 to 0.64 ppm Gd.
    Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms 06/2012; 281:21–25. · 1.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The nature of the transferrable factor which goes from irradiated objects to bystander objects remains undefined. Most agree that a chemical entity is the likely 'factor' although some authors have produced in vitro evidence for the involvement of a physical component or a very potent volatile capable of traveling through air distances. In this paper we test the hypothesis that the communicated signal may be physical at least in part. The in vivo fish model was used to allow signal production and response to occur in organisms in vivo without any shared blood or central nervous system (CNS) connections. A reporter assay and calcium flux measurements were used to detect signal production when irradiated fish were separated from unirradiated fish by (a) a plastic container, and (b) a foil-wrapped plastic container. The unirradiated fish showed bystander effects in both cases. The use of foil excludes the possibility of a light signal and although a highly active volatile could travel from one tank to another, the arrangement of sham and irradiated tanks makes it highly unlikely that this could explain our result. We conclude that there must be a physical component in the mechanism such as a weak acoustic or electromagnetic signal.
    International Journal of Radiation Biology 05/2012; 88(8):583-91. · 1.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Humans can be exposed to fluorine (F) through their diet, occupation, environment and oral dental care products. Fluorine, at proper dosages, is believed to have positive effects by reducing the incidence of dental caries, but fluorine toxicity can occur when people are exposed to excessive quantities of fluorine. In this paper we present the results of a small pilot in vivo study on 33 participants living in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. The mean age of participants was 45 ± 18 years with a range of 20-87 years. The observed calcium normalized hand-bone-fluorine concentrations in this small pilot study ranged from 1.1 to 8.8 mg F/g Ca. Every person measured in this study had levels of fluorine in bone above the detection limit of the system. The average fluorine concentration in bone was found to be 3.5 ± 0.4 mg F/g Ca. No difference was observed in average concentration for men and women. In addition, a significant correlation (r(2) = 0.55, p < 0.001) was observed between hand-bone-fluorine content and age. The amount of fluorine was found to increase at a rate of 0.084 ± 0.014 mg F/g Ca per year. There was no significant difference observed in this small group of subjects between the accumulation rates in men and women. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time data from in vivo measurement of fluorine content in humans by neutron activation analysis have been presented. The data determined by this technique were found to be consistent with results from ex vivo studies from other countries. We suggest that the data demonstrate that this low risk non-invasive diagnostic technique will permit the routine assessment of bone-fluorine content with potential application in the study of clinical bone-related diseases. This small study demonstrated that people in Southern Ontario are exposed to fluoride in measureable quantities, and that fluoride can be seen to accumulate in bone with age. However, all volunteers were found to have levels below those expected with clinical fluorosis, and only one older subject was found to have levels comparable with preclinical exposure.
    Physiological Measurement 03/2012; 33(3):375-84. · 1.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fluorine (F) plays an important role in dental health and bone formation. Many studies have shown that excess fluoride (F(-)) can result in dental or skeletal fluorosis, while other studies have indicated that a proper dosage of fluoride may have a protective effect on bone fracture incidence. Fluorine is stored almost completely in the skeleton making bone an ideal site for measurement to assess long-term exposure. This paper outlines a feasibility study of a technique to measure bone-fluorine non-invasively in the human hand using in vivo neutron activation analysis (IVNAA) via the (19)F(n,γ)(20)F reaction. Irradiations were performed using the Tandetron accelerator at McMaster University. Eight NaI(Tl) detectors arranged in a 4π geometry were employed for delayed counting of the emitted 1.63 MeV gamma ray. The short 11 s half-life of (20)F presents a difficult and unique practical challenge in terms of patient irradiation and subsequent detection. We have employed two simultaneous timing methods to determine the fluorine sensitivity by eliminating the interference of the 1.64 MeV gamma ray from the (37)Cl(n,γ)(38)Cl reaction. The timing method consisted of three counting periods: an initial 30 s (sum of three 10 s periods) count period for F, followed by a 120 s decay period, and a subsequent 300 s count period to obtain information pertaining to Ca and Cl. The phantom minimum detectable limit (M(DL)) determined by this method was 0.96 mg F/g Ca. The M(DL) was improved by dividing the initial timing period into three equal segments (10 s each) and combining the results using inverse variance weighting. This resulted in a phantom M(DL) of 0.66 mg F/g Ca. These detection limits are comparable to ex vivo results for various bones in the adult skeleton reported in the literature. Dosimetry was performed for these irradiation conditions. The equivalent dose for each phantom measurement was determined to be 30 mSv. The effective dose was however low, 35 µSv, which is comparable to other clinical diagnostic tools. The M(DL), relatively low radiation dose and non-invasiveness indicate the suitability of this method for routine in vivo analysis of bone-fluorine content. This prompted us to perform a trial study in human subjects. A preliminary human study on 34 participants was completed, with 33 of the 34 measurements proving to be successful. The in vivo M(DL) based on the improved timing method was determined to be 0.69 mg F/g Ca for the 33 successful human measurements. In our opinion, this technique has been demonstrated to be a suitable method for in vivo assessment of fluorine bone-burden.
    Physiological Measurement 01/2012; 33(2):243-57. · 1.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neutron irradiations at the McMaster Tandetron Accelerator were performed to study direct and bystander effects of neutrons in a live organism. The neutrons were produced through (7)Li(p,n)(7)Be reaction. Although the gamma contamination of the neutron beam cannot be completely eliminated, it was designed to be as low as possible and remain below a threshold already established for bystander effects. Microdosimetric methods using a tissue-equivalent proportional counter have been used to measure the neutron and gamma doses for the cell irradiation. Previous data for a cell line exposed in vitro suggested that neutrons did not produce bystander effects at doses below 300 mGy. The current experiments sought to confirm this using a live whole organism (zebrafish) where tissue samples harvested 2 h after exposure were examined for direct evidence of apoptosis and tested for secretion of bystander factors using an established bioassay. Fish were either exposed directly to the beam or were allowed to swim with or in water previously occupied by irradiated fish. Using the zebrafish model it was found that there was significant direct cell death seen both by apoptosis scores and clonogenic assay when the neutron dose was approximately 100 mGy. An equivalent dose of gamma rays produced a more toxic effect. It was further found that neutrons did not induce a bystander effect in fish receiving signals from irradiated fish. The results confirm in vitro experiments which suggest neutrons do not induce bystander signaling. In fact they may suppress gamma induced signaling suggesting a possible intriguing new and as yet unclear mechanism.
    International Journal of Radiation Biology 07/2011; 87(9):964-73. · 1.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The feasibility of using the McMaster University in vivo prompt gamma neutron activation analysis system for the detection of gadolinium has been investigated. Phantoms have been developed for the kidney, liver, and the leg muscle. The initial detection limits are determined to be 7.2 ± 0.3 ppm for the kidney, 3.0 ± 0.1 ppm for the liver, and 2.33 ± 0.08 ppm for the lower leg muscle. A few system optimizations have been tested and show significant detection limit reduction from these initial values. The technique is promising and shows feasibility for in vivo studies of gadolinium retention.
    Applied radiation and isotopes: including data, instrumentation and methods for use in agriculture, industry and medicine 01/2011; 69(1):105-11. · 1.09 Impact Factor
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    Canadian family physician Medecin de famille canadien 11/2010; 56(11):1110-1; author reply 1112. · 1.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gadolinium (Gd)-based contrast agents are a valuable diagnostic aid for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The amount of free Gd deposited in tissues following contrast enhanced MRI is of toxicological concern. The McMaster University in vivo prompt gamma neutron activation analysis facility has been adapted for the detection of Gd in the kidney, liver, and the leg muscle. A simple model of the HPGe detector used for detection of the prompt γ-rays following Gd neutron capture has been created using Monte Carlo simulation. A separate simulation describing the neutron collimation and shielding apparatus has been modified to determine the neutron capture rate in the Gd phantoms. The MCNP simulation results have been confirmed by experimental measurement. The deviations between MCNP and the experiment were between 1% and 18%, with an average deviation of 3.8 ± 6.7%. The validated MCNP model is to be used to improve the Gd in vivo measurement sensitivity by determining the best neutron moderator/reflector arrangement.
    Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms 01/2010; · 1.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Manganese (Mn) is a nutrient essential for regulating neurological and skeletal functions in the human body, but it is also toxic when humans are excessively exposed to Mn. Blood (or serum/plasma) and other body fluids reflect only the most recent exposure and rapidly return to within normal ranges, even when there has been a temporary excursion in response to exposure. In this context, we have been developing a non-invasive measurement of Mn stored in bone, using in vivo neutron activation analysis. Following feasibility studies, a first pilot study, using neutron activation analysis to measure Mn in the bones of the hand of ten healthy male human subjects, was conducted with the approval of the concerned research ethics boards. The participants of this study had no known history of exposure to Mn. Two volunteers were excluded from this study due to technical problems with their measurements. The inverse variance weighted mean value of Mn/Ca for the participants of this study is 0.12+/-0.68 microg Mn/g Ca which is comparable within uncertainties with the estimated range of 0.16-0.78 microg Mn/g Ca and mean value of 0.63+/-0.30 microg Mn/g Ca derived from cadaver data. It is recommended to investigate the use of the diagnostic technique for in vivo measurements of workers exposed occupationally to excessive amounts of Mn who could develop many-fold increased levels of Mn in bones as demonstrated through various animal studies. The technique needs further development to improve the precision of in vivo measurements in the non-exposed population.
    Physics in Medicine and Biology 11/2008; 53(19):N371-6. · 2.70 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

689 Citations
167.95 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1997–2014
    • McMaster University
      • • Department of Medical Physics and Applied Radiation Sciences
      • • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    • University of Maryland, Baltimore
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2006–2008
    • Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation
      Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • 2005
    • Ryerson University
      • Department of Physics
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2001–2002
    • University of Lisbon
      Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
  • 2000
    • Soreq Nuclear Research Center
      Yerushalayim, Jerusalem District, Israel
  • 1998
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
      • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
      Druid Hills, GA, United States
  • 1993–1997
    • University of Maryland, Baltimore County
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 1990
    • University of Birmingham
      Birmingham, England, United Kingdom