Biological UV dosimetry using the DLR biofilm

Rettberg, P. and Cockell, Charles (2004). Biological UV dosimetry using the DLR biofilm. Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences, 3(8) pp. 781–787.



Changes of environmental UV radiation as part of global atmospheric changes will influence the biosphere substantially. The determination of the biological effects of these changes requires accurate and reliable UV monitoring systems that weight the spectral irradiance according to the biological responses under consideration. Biological UV dosimeters, which directly weight the incident UV components of sunlight in relation to the effectiveness of the different wavelengths and the potential interactions between them, can complement weighted physical UV measurements. Up to now several UV-dependent endpoints in biomolecules (e.g. uracil, DNA, provitamin D3), bacteriophages (e.g. T7), bacteria (e.g.E. coli, B. subtilis) and cultured eukaryotic cells have been suggested as sensing elements in biological UV dosimeters. One example is the DLR-biofilm consisting of immobilised spores of the bacterium B. subtilis as a UV sensor. It weights per se the incident UV radiation according to its DNA-damaging effectiveness. In several examples the applicability of the DLR-biofilm technique for personal UV dosimetry as well as for the measurement of the biologically weighted irradiance of the sun and of artificial UV sources is demonstrated.

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