Biodosimetry methods, including the dicentric chromosome assay, the cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay and the γH2AX marker of DNA damage are used to determine the dose of ionizing radiation. These techniques are particularly useful when physical dosimetry is absent or questioned. While these assays can be very sensitive and specific, the standard methods need to be adapted to increase sample throughput in the case of a large-scale radiological/nuclear event. Recent modifications to the microscope-based assays have resulted in some increased throughput, and a number of biodosimetry networks have been, and continue to be, established and strengthened. As the imaging flow cytometer (IFC) is a technology that can automatically image and analyze processed blood samples for markers of radiation damage, the microscope-based biodosimetry techniques can be modified for the IFC for high-throughput biological dosimetry. Furthermore, the analysis templates can be easily shared between networked biodosimetry laboratories for increased capacity and improved standardization. This review describes recent advances in IFC methodology and their application to biodosimetry.
Keywords: Chromosome aberration; DNA; cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay; dicentric chromosome assay; imaging flow cytometry; radiation biodosimetry.