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Photo biological investigations are dependent on calibration and characterisation to determine the relevance of an artificial irradiator to the study at hand. The importance of this has been voiced in the literature. However, the importance of output delivery is relatively unknown. The biological relevance of a high energy, rapidly pulsing solar simulator was investigated using the clonogenic assay and was found to be reciprocity law compliant despite an exaggerated UV irradiance in excess of 1600 Wm-2 delivered per pulse. In fact, it was found to be the least cytotoxic irradiator compared to a second solar simulator and a UVB fluorescent lamp with continuous UV irradiances of 55 Wm-2 and 6.4 Wm-2 respectively. The reduced survival observed with the continuous irradiators is attributed to differences in spectral irradiance and distribution, particularly in the UVB, which in the absence of thorough calibration and characterisation may have resulted in erroneous conclusions.
Maguire, A., Lyng, F.M. & Walsh, J.E. (2010) Solar simulated radiation induced cell death depends on spectral distribution and irradiance but not output delivery. Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 140(2) pp.147-57. doi:10.1093/rpd/ncq080