Helmholtz Zentrum München Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

Michael Discher at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità

In my graduate thesis project I'm working on methods for retrospective dosimetry in the field of radiation protection. If there were to be a radiation incident, it might result in the exposure of people. In general, the population does not wear dedicated personal dosimeters, and other methods have to be used to perform dose estimations. One possibility is to use personal items of daily life as emergency dosimeters and in this way to perform an individual dose assessment.

One such a potential personal item is a commonly used mobile phone which is carried close to the body. Specific components of the mobile phone (i.e. display glass, components of the circuit board) are sensitive to ionizing radiation and can be used for dose reconstruction. The physical method used to measure the dose information is thermally or optically stimulated luminescence.

Last year in September I was given the opportunity to visit the "Istituto Superiore di Sanità" (ISS) in Rome, Italy. The research lab at ISS has a long-standing collaboration with the luminescence lab of the Institute of Radiation Protection at HMGU within the framework of a European network (EURADOS1) and several European projects (RENEB2, SOLO3, MULTIBIODOSE4). I was warmly welcomed by all ISS team members, and I received a detailed tour through the luminescence lab.

Besides the scientific exchange, the aim of my research stay was the performance of own measurements to evaluate a new dose assessment method. Display touchscreen glasses were investigated as a novel sensitive material. Furthermore, I had the opportunity to visit the irradiation facilities of the research institute where my glass samples were irradiated. The subsequent luminescence measurements were very promising, and most likely I will publish the data in collaboration with the ISS scientists.

Aside from the working experience in the lab, I also had time to visit the famous city center of Rome and also the Vatican with the interesting squares, fountains and ancient monuments.

Overall, my lab visit was a great experience and I'm very grateful for the financial support and this great opportunity from HELENA!

For more information of the network and projects I refer to:
1: www.eurados.org
2: http://www.reneb.eu/
3: http://www.solo-fp7.eu/
4: http://www.multibiodose.eu