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Radiation Protection Dosimetry 143 (2011) 214-218
Physical models implemented in the Geant4-DNA extension of the Geant-4 T+toolkit for calculating initial radiation damage at the molecular level
C. Villagrasa1, Z. Francis1, S. Incerti2

The ROSIRIS project aims to study the radiobiology of integrated systems for medical treatment optimisation using ionising radiations and evaluate the associated risk. In the framework of this project, one research focus is the interpretation of the initial radio-induced damage in DNA created by ionising radiation (and detected by γ-H2AX foci analysis) from the track structure of the incident particles. In order to calculate the track structure of ionising particles at a nanometric level, the Geant4 Monte Carlo toolkit was used. Geant4 (Object Oriented Programming Architecture in C++) offers a common platform, available free to all users and relatively easy to use. Nevertheless, the current low-energy threshold for electromagnetic processes in GEANT4 is set to 1 keV (250 eV using the Livermore processes), which is an unsuitable value for nanometric applications. To lower this energy threshold, the necessary interaction processes and models were identified, and the corresponding available cross sections collected from the literature. They are mostly based on the plane-wave Born approximation (first Born approximation, or FBA) for inelastic interactions and on semi-empirical models for energies where the FBA fails (at low energies). In this paper, the extensions that have been introduced into the 9.3 release of the Geant4 toolkit are described, the so-called Geant4-DNA extension, including a set of processes and models adapted in this study and permitting the simulation of electron (8 eV-1 MeV), proton (100 eV-100 MeV) and alpha particle (1 keV-10 MeV) interactions in liquid water.
1 :  IRSN - Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire
2 :  CENBG - Centre d'Etudes Nucléaires de Bordeaux Gradignan