Developed at the Swiss Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) and the University of Geneva in Switzerland, the Micro Léman X-Ray Collimator can collimate in the micrometer range X-Ray beams produced by standard high voltage X-Ray tubes. Applications include irradiating part of a nucleus of a cell for studying medical and biological responses to irradiation; and irradiating micrometer-thin sections of materials for nanotechnology fabrication or metronomy.
At the heart of the Micro Léman X-Ray Collimator is the micro collimating block consisting of X-Ray absorbing gallium arsenide wafers with micron-wide X-Ray permeable channels between them. This block is attached to a computer-controlled motorized X-Ray alignment module that also contains the specimen holder. The Micro Léman X-Ray Collimator can collimate soft and hard X-Rays (between 20 and 50 keV). The specimen can be placed even a few millimeters away from the outlet of the microcollimator and can be covered by material that is transparent to hard X-Rays, such as plastics, water, and other materials.
The ability of the X-Ray Collimator to collimate X-Rays in the micrometer range is demonstrated by irradiating a human cancer cell line and visualizing the irradiated area by detecting a protein, 53BP1, that is recruited to X-Ray induced DNA damage lesions (the nuclei of the cells are marked by blue lines; the gray line shows the 2 micron wide irradiated area).