The radiation output characteristics of the transmission-target X-ray tube are different from those of the traditional reflection-target X-ray tube. The aims of this study were to compare the differences of output dose and spectrum between these two X-ray tubes under the same conditions. The biomedical applications of the transmission-target X-ray in liver cancer cells were also evaluated. For these two systems, the dose output and the mAs appeared to have good linear relations; the dose output and kVp variations also had positive relations. However, under the same parameters, the dose output of transmission-target X-ray system was 2.64-3.21 times higher than the reflection-target system, implying that the transmission-target system had a higher X-ray production rate. The K characteristic radiations reach 22.96% and 8.91% of the spectrum in transmission-target and reflection-target, respectively. The spectrum measurements showed that the transmission-target system had more obvious output of K characteristic radiation. The 1 Gy of transmission-target can induce 16%-23% of cytotoxicity in liver cancer cells. Concerning the synergic effects of transmission-target combined with rose bengal, the data showed that 1 Gy of transmission-target exposure augment the 24%-28% of cytotoxicity at low dose of rose bengal treated condition.
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