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Radiation Exposure

Endothelial Colony-Forming Cells (ECFC) are primary cells very sensitive to ionizing radiation. ECFC can be isolated from a sample of blood and used to test individual sensitivity to ionizing radiation based on a patent-pending assay we develop in collaboration with Duke University researchers.

People Are Often Exposed to Low Dose Ionizing Radiation
Radiation Can Have Long-Term Negative Effects on Human Health
Knowing Who Is Sensitive to Radiation May Help Avoiding Unnecessary Risks
Testing ECFC response to low dose radiation. Left: Real-time cell growth kinetics from cell impedence measurements after exposure to low doses of radiation. Right: Endpoint cell viability measurement of three different ECFC cell lines. The cells were exposed to three different doses of radiation and cell viability was measured 72 hrs later.

Donor-Specific Cell-Based Assays in Studying Sensitivity to Low-Dose Radiation: A Population-Based Perspective

Front Public Health. 2014; 2: 244.

Dora Il’yasovaAlexander KinevC. David Melton, and Faith G. Davis




Currently, a linear no-threshold model is used to estimate health risks associated with exposure to low-dose radiation, a prevalent exposure in the general population, because the direct estimation from epidemiological studies suffers from uncertainty. This model has been criticized based on unique biology of low-dose radiation. Whether the departure from linearity is toward increased or decreased risk is intensely debated. We present an approach based on individual radiosensitivity testing and discuss how individual radiosensitivity can be assessed with the goal to develop a quantifiable measure of cellular response that can be conducted via high-throughput population testing.

Endothelial colony forming cells (ECFCs) as a model for studying effects of low-dose ionizing radiation: growth inhibition by a single dose.

Cancer Invest. 2013 Jun;31(5):359-64. doi: 10.3109/07357907.2013.789903. Epub 2013 Apr 26.

Alexander V. Kinev, Vrad Levering, Kenneth Young, Francis Ali-Osman, George A. Truskey, Mark W. Dewhirst, and Dora Il’yasova



Identification of measurable nontransient responses to low-dose radiation in human primary cell cultures remains a problem. To this end, circulating endothelial colony-forming (progenitor) cells (ECFCs) were examined as an experimental model. ECFCs were isolated from three cord blood donors. Cells were positive for endothelial cell markers and remained highly proliferative after long-term cryopreservation. A single dose of X-ray radiation (0.06–0.38 Gy) inhibited ECFC culture growth. This effect was evident at 48 hours and persisted up to 72 hr postirradiation. Such protracted cytostatic response of ECFCs to low-dose radiation suggests that ECFC primary cultures can be used to study low-dose radiation effects.


United States Patent Application 20150355164. December 10, 2015.

Kinev; Alexander V ; Il'yasova; Dora; Dewhirst; Mark W.; 




The present invention relates to the innovation that ECFCs are a predictor of the likely result to the exposure of a patient to low dose ionizing radiation by comparing the results of exposure of cells to individuals already exposed to ECFCs.

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