The University of Iowa

Raycell Mk2 X-ray Blood Irradiator Safety Guide

Use Authorization

  • All prospective users of the Raycell Mk2 X-ray Blood Irradiator are required to complete operator  training which includes:
    • Machine components, controls and indicators, safety symbols, and warning labels;
    • Machine operation, faults, troubleshooting, and error codes; and
    • User maintenance including monthly preventative maintenance checks.
  • A current record of authorized users and the date they completed operator  training shall be maintained in the Blood Bank for inspection.
  • A record of monthly preventative maintenance checks including canister interlock shall be maintained in the Blood Bank for inspection.
  • The Raycell Mk2 X-ray Blood Irradiator must be secured from unauthorized use.
  • Safety problems with the Raycell system must be reported to the Gordon Axt, Radiation Safety Officer (ph: 335-8503 or cell: (319) 400-0316).  Use must be discontinued until corrected.
  • The Raycell Mk2 X-ray Blood Irradiator must be registered with the Iowa Department of Public Health – Bureau of Radiological Health (IDPH-BRH) through EHS.  The IDPH-BRH assesses an annual $100.00 registration fee which is also payable through EHS.

Radiation Safety

  • All users of the Raycell must first become “authorized users” by completing the required operating training and reviewing the Raycell Mk2 X-ray Safety Guide.
  • X-Rays are generated when electrons are accelerated in a vacuum through a high-voltage electrical field and then rapidly decelerated when they interact with the atoms of a dense target usually made of tungsten.
  • The blood products are irradiated by two opposing X-ray tubes (160 kV max.; 60 – 80 kV average) with the sample canister located centrally between them.  No radiation is present when the unit is off.
  • The Raycell Mk2 can deliver 25 Gy (2500 rad) to the sample canister in approximately 4 minutes.
  • The Raycell Mk2’s shielding is designed to limit the radiation exposure at the exterior surface to approximately 0.03 mR/hr.
  • Dosimeters are not required to be worn to operate the Raycell Mk2 Blood Irradiator.
  • The sample chamber door of the Raycell Mk2 features 2 separate door safety interlocks that prevent accidental exposure to the x-ray beam during use.
  • Users must never defeat or override any safety features on the X-ray generator, the safety enclosures, interlocks, or the shields.
  • Only authorized personnel may perform maintenance on the Raycell X-ray system with the approval of the facility manager.