Pataky, K., Villanueva, G., Liani, A., Zgheib, O., Jenkins, N., Halazonetis, D. J., Halazonetis, T. D. and Brugger, J. Microcollimator for Micrometer-Wide Stripe Irradiation of Cells Using 20–30 keV X Rays. Radiat. Res. 172, 252–259 (2009).
The exposure of subnuclear compartments of cells to ionizing radiation is currently not trivial. We describe here a collimator for micrometer-wide stripe irradiation designed to work with conventional high-voltage X-ray tubes and cells cultured on standard glass cover slips. The microcollimator was fabricated by high-precision silicon micromachining and consists of X-ray absorbing chips with grooves of highly controlled depths, between 0.5–10 μm, along their surfaces. These grooves form X-ray collimating slits when the chips are stacked against each other. The use of this device for radiation biology was examined by irradiating human cells with X rays having energies between 20–30 keV. After irradiation, p53 binding protein 1 (53BP1), a nuclear protein that is recruited at sites of DNA double-strand breaks, clustered in lines corresponding to the irradiated stripes.