What is Multibiodose?

Skin Speckle Assay (SSA) instrumentation. © E. Gregoire, Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN) Skin with different structures that may be examined by Skin Speckle Assay (SSA). ©  A. Wojcik, Stockholm University

Multi-disciplinary biodosimetric tools to manage high scale radiological casualties (MULTIBIODOSE) - Capability project funded within the 7th EU Framework Programme under Theme 10 - SECURITY.

The MULTIBIODOSE project was launched on May 1st 2010, and it is planned to continue until April 2013. The purpose of this multi-disciplinary collaborative project is to analyse a variety of biodosimetric tools and adapt them to different mass casualty scenarios. It is envisaged that the project will result in an establishment of a biodosimetric network that is fully functional and ready to respond in case of a mass casualty. In the event of a large scale radiological emergency, biological dosimetry is an essential tool that can provide timely assessment of radiation exposure to the general population and enable the identification of those exposed who should receive medical treatment. A number of biodosimetric tools are potentially available, but they must be adapted and tested for a large-scale emergency scenario. These methods differ in their specificity and sensitivity to radiation, the stability of signal and speed of performance. A large scale radiological emergency can take different forms. Based on the emergency scenario, different biodosimetric tools should be applied so that the dosimetric information can be made available with optimal speed and precision.

The following biodosimetric tools will be validated and established: the dicentric assay, the micronucleus assay, the gamma-H2AX assay, the skin speckle assay, the blood serum protein expression assay and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR)/optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dosimetry in components of pocket electronic devices. These assays were chosen because they complement each other with respect to sensitivity, specificity to radiation and the exposure scenario, as well as speed of performance. Future training programmes will be developed for all the assays validated and established in the project, and automation and commercialisation will be pursued. An operational guidance that will address the multi-parametric approach for large scale human exposures will be developed and disseminated among emergency preparedness and radiation protection organisations.

Project activities are organised into eight work packages (WP) that are listed below:

WP1: Dicentric assay

Work package aims to adapt the dicentric chromosome assay to mass casualty scenarios.

WP2: Automated micronucleus assay

Work package will validate and adapt the automated peripheral blood lymphocyte micronucleus assay to mass casualty scenarios.

WP3: Gamma-H2AX assay

Work package will aim to optimise and validate the y-H2AX assay as a rapid triage device for a mass casualty scenario.

WP4: Skin speckle assay (SSA) and blood serum protein assay (SPA)

Work package aims to identify and validate a dose detection assay based on radiation-induced optical changes of skin (SSA) and changes in the level of selected serum proteins (SPA).

WP5: Electron paramagnetic resonance/optically stimulated luminescence (EPR/OSL)

This work package will develop and validate EPR and OSL methods on components of portable electronic devices, like mobile phones, mp3 players etc, for dose assessment in a mass casualty scenario.

WP6: Statistical software package

The aim of this work package is to produce a software package for integrated statistical analysis of data from each of the assays described in WP 1 to 5. It is intended that the software will be freely distributed.

WP7: Guidance for using MULTIBIODOSE tools in emergencies and dissemination of results

Work package will provide information on the project and its results to the emergency preparedness organisations and radiation dosimetry community across Europe, and will develop operational guidance for using the tools developed by the MULTIBIODOSE project.

WP8: Project management

Work package will provide for effective achievement of the project goals.

Work packages 1-5 will focus on developments of the specific assays while work package 6 will serve those others. All the six work packages will develop training programs for using the developed methods.