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A three-dimensional tissue model was incorporated into a new Monte Carlo algorithm that simulates passage of heavy ions in a tissue box. The tissue box was given as a realistic model of tissue based on confocal microscopy images. The action of heavy ions on the cellular matrix for 2- or 3-dimensional cases was simulated. Cells were modeled as a cell culture monolayer in one example, where the data were taken directly from microscopy (2-d cell matrix), and as a multi-layer obtained from confocal microscopy (3-d case). Image segmentation was used to identify cells with precise areas/volumes in an irradiated cell culture monolayer, and slices of tissue with many cell layers. The cells were then inserted into the model box of the simulated physical space pixel by pixel. In the case of modeled tissues (3-d), the tissue box had periodic boundary conditions imposed, which extrapolates the technique to macroscopic volumes of tissue. For the real tissue (3-d), specific spatial patterns for cell apoptosis and necrosis are expected. The cell patterns were modeled based on action cross sections for apoptosis and necrosis estimated from current experimental data. A spatial correlation function indicating a higher spatial concentration of damaged cells from heavy ions relative to the low-LET radiation cell damage pattern is presented. The spatial correlation effects among necrotic cells can help studying micro lesions in organs, and probable effects of directionality of heavy ion radiation on epithelium and endothelium. The utility of such models in predicting risk of cancer formation and delayed bystander effects of harmful environmental insults such as toxic exposures or other such will be discussed.



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