UV-C emitting nanoscale scintillators can be used to sensitize cancer cells selectively against X-rays during radiation therapy, due to the lethal DNA lesions caused by UV-C photons. Unfortunately, nanoscale particles (NPs) show decreased UV-C emission intensity. In this paper, the influence of different Nd3+ concentrations on the UV-C emission of micro- and nanoscale LuPO4:Pr3+ is investigated upon X-ray irradiation and vacuum UV excitation (160 nm). Co-doped LuPO4 results in increased UV-C emission independent of excitation source due to energy transfer from Nd3+ to Pr3+. The highest UV-C emission intensity is observed for LuPO4:Pr3+,Nd3+(1%,2.5%) upon X-ray irradiation. Finally, LuPO4 NPs co-doped with different dopant concentrations are synthesized, and the biological efficacy of the combined approach (X-rays and UV-C) is assessed using the colony formation assay. Cell culture experiments confirm increased cell death compared to X-rays alone due to the formation of UV-specific DNA damages, supporting the feasibility of this approach.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Biomedical Engineering