A report is presented on the advantages of the rapid interphase chromosome assay (RICA) and the difficulties that may be met while implementing this method for application in biological dosimetry. The RICA test can be applied on unstimulated human lymphocytes; this is an advantage in comparison with the dicentric chromosomes or micronucleus tests. In the former two tests, stimulated lymphocytes are examined and hence, 48 h more are needed to obtain cells traversing the cell cycle. Due to the use of unstimulated nondividing cells, higher numbers of cells are available for RICA analysis than for dicentric chromosomes or micronuclei tests. Moreover, the method can be applied after exposure to ionizing radiation doses in excess of 5 Gy. Such doses cause a significant cell cycle delay or result in the loss of G2 phase and mitotic cells because of apoptosis. Therefore, the traditional biodosimetry based on the evaluation of the incidence of damage to chromosomes is very difficult to carry out. This is due to the lack of an adequate number of mitotic cells for analysis. RICA is free of this disadvantage. An automatic microscope can be used to retrieve cell images; automatic image analysis can also be used.
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