We present the technological advancements of recent years at the laser-driven ion acceleration experiment at the ATLAS 300 laser in Garching near Munich that enabled a first application oriented experiment. Improvements were made in target positioning, proton transport and diagnostics as well as in specimen handling and their capabilities explored by performing an irradiation experiment with the zebrafish embryo model. Results of this first living vertebrate organism irradiation at a laser-driven source show evaluable partial body changes in the very small (<1mm) animals corresponding to the effects of photon doses of up to 15 Gy. Hence, we could demonstrate that a biologically relevant amount of dose could be delivered within a reasonable amount of time (1-2 min). Further, the asymmetry of the malformations proves the inhomogeneous dose deposition due to the focused proton bunch. The outcomes of this proof-of-principle experiment show both the appropriateness of current capabilities and the required improvements of our laser-driven proton source for in-vivo biological experiments.
|Laser-driven ion acceleration