Innovation and Partnerships Office

RadBioChip: Biomarkers for Radiation Exposure 2014-105

Berkeley Lab’s RadBioChip offers diagnostic and prognostic methods that use only four peripheral blood protein biomarkers from a small sample to classify radiation exposure dose levels with 100% accuracy into five exposure dose categories up to 6 Gy and up to five days after exposure. The technology overcomes limitations of physical dosimeters (badge readers) and previous approaches using protein biomarkers.              


  • Medical industry
  • Homeland security


  • Quickly determines a subject’s radiation exposure category level with 100% accuracy
  • As an assay, needs just one panel of four proteins and a very small blood sample
  • Can be used on multiple subjects after an event, unlike badge readers
  • Can be used at radiation dose levels up to 6 Gy, and up to five days after exposure to an unknown amount of ionizing radiation


Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed the RadBioChip to determine an individual’s radiation dosage with 100% accuracy from one to five days after exposure. The invention demonstrates that a very small number of blood proteins and a very small amount of blood are sufficient to assign individuals to the correct radiation exposure dose category. Unlike conventional physical technologies, the RadBioChip may be used to accurately classify the radiation dose of multiple subjects after a nuclear accident or an act of nuclear terrorism.

The RadBioChip provides a panel of four protein biomarkers — FLT3LG, SAA1, CC3, and/or VCAM-1 — that are responsive to whole body radiation exposure. It uses a Berkeley Lab-developed algorithm based on the relative expression of these four proteins to classify individuals into five radiation exposure categories, ranging from those who have not been exposed to ionizing radiation to those who have been exposed to 6 Gy of radiation. The Berkeley Lab researchers used a mouse model to develop the algorithms.

National-security and medical industries have relied on physical dosimeters such as badge readers to assess a subject’s level of radiation exposure, but physical dosimeters are limited, as they must be worn at the time of exposure. On the other hand, biological approaches using protein biomarkers have been unsatisfactory because they require very large numbers of protein and cannot accurately classify individuals into specific dose categories. Berkeley Lab’s RadBioChip overcomes these limitations.

DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle

STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.


Human Blood Molecular Biodosimeter Panel for Distinguishing Radiation Exposure from Inflammation Stress, IB-3304