The Experimental Irradiators Core was established in 1986 and maintains and operates sources of ionizing radiation used in experimental studies at the Kimmel Cancer Center. Services include:
training in the operation of the radiation sources
advising users on the design of experiments using radiation
scheduling use of the sources
operating the sources
verifying dosimetry for new experimental setups
conducting maintenance and repair of the resources.
The primary resources of the Core are:
four Cs-137 irradiators
a parallel opposed dual x-ray source system (CIDX)
an image guided orthovoltage small animal radiation research platform (SARRP).
The SARRP is equipped with on-board cone-beam CT to guide precise focal irradiation of small animals, mimicking human radiation treatments.
Other resources include a GammaCell 40 irradiator, used for whole body irradiation of rodents or irradiation of cultured cells at a constant dose rate. A Mark I irradiator is used to deliver radiation to animal tumors, or other partial-body irradiations, at dose rates comparable to those used in external beam radiotherapy. However, this irradiator can deliver radiation at a broad range of dose rates for a variety of purposes, such as irradiation of cell suspensions or irradiation at high doses to sterilize implant material. A GammaCell 1000 irradiator is used to irradiate suspension cultures at a constant dose rate. The low-dose-rate irradiator, built in-house with a Shepherd 81 source, is used primarily to irradiate cell cultures at dose rates comparable to those used in tumor therapy with radioactive implants. It can deliver radiation at any rate below one Gy/hr and has been used in studies of cancers originating from from prolonged exposure to low-dose-rate radiation.