Cytogenetic bio-dosimetry techniques in the detection of dicentric chromosomes induced by ionizing radiation: A review
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy
2 Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
3 Radosys Ltd, Budapest, Hungary
4 Physics Department, Federal University of Sergipe – UFS, Aracaju, Brazil
5 Department of Biomedicine and Prevention, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy
Accepted: 16 April 2021
Published online: 3 May 2021
Ionizing radiation is ubiquitous in the environment. Its source can be natural, such as radioactive materials present in soil and cosmic rays, or artificial, such as the fuel for nuclear power plants. Overexposure to ionizing radiation may damage living tissue and could cause severe health problems (i.e., mutations, radiation sickness, cancer, and death). Cytogenetic bio-dosimetry has the great advantage to take into account the inter-individual variation, and it is informative even when physical dosimetry is not applicable; moreover, it is the definitive method to assess exposure to ionizing radiation recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Such a procedure involves counting the frequency of dicentric chromosomes (DCs), which are the most studied chromosomal aberrations used as absorbed radiation biomarkers, during the metaphase of cells. A set of algorithms, tested on different programming languages to automatically identify DCs, is analyzed by the authors together with an Automated Dicentric Chromosome Identifying software (ADCI) mostly based on OpenCV programming libraries. The purpose of this work is to review the main results regarding the correlation between ionizing radiation and dicentric chromosomes in cytogenetic bio-dosimetry.
© The Author(s) 2021
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