IARPA has released a request for information (RFI) entitled Targeted Evaluation of Ionizing Radiation Exposure (TEI-REX). IARPA is seeking information on research efforts, established datasets, and novel methodologies in the area of non-invasive biodosimetry focusing on protein, lipid, or other small-molecule associated biomarker signatures. Responses to this RFI are due no later than 5 p.m., Eastern Time, on 19 February, 2021.

Background & Scope

The current ‘gold standard’ for biodosimetry is the dicentric chromosome assay (DCA). In use for decades with validated protocols, DCA assays can reproducibly evaluate low- and high- dose exposures (~0.1 – ~15 Gy), can be integrated into automated screening, and can perform qualitative evaluation of partial body exposures. More recently developed biodosimetry approaches include analyses of lymphocyte cell depletion, protein-based DNA repair responses, gene expression profiling, and micro-RNA profiling. While these methods havedemonstrated utility for specific use cases, they are heavily dependent upon transient signatures and often require baseline evaluation to accurately quantify exposure. In addition, these methods rely on secondary or tertiary biomarkers from the actual ionizing energy or free radical effects, provide limited information on the exposure environment, and mostly require invasive or serial sampling (i.e. multiple blood draws).

Advancements across multiple technical fields over the past decade provides the opportunity to research and develop new biodosimetry methods to overcome the shortcomings of current approaches. Such advancements include novel or improved analytical methodologies or platforms; expanded knowledge space associated with the impact of ionizing radiation to target tissues; and computational techniques to enabling detection of signatures from the background noise. Further research into this field, leveraging these advances, will enable development of new approaches for discovery, detection, and analysis of biomarker signatures associated with ionizing radiation exposure and enable improved protection of individuals who are accidentally or professionally exposed, especially at sub-clinical doses.

The objective of this RFI is to identify basic and fundamental research capabilities that would inform advancement towards discovery, detection, and analysis of radiation-induced biomarker signatures. Capabilities may include but are not limited to: viable analytical platforms capable of discovery and detection of signatures from minimally to non-invasive samples; examples of potential or demonstrated signatures associated with ionizing radiation exposure; and/or examples or demonstrations of models for quantifying signatures associated with radiation exposure/absorption and the exposure environment. Sample types analyzed should reference skin, hair, nails, sweat, natural surface oils, saliva, dermal interstitial fluid, and/or mucosal cells from the mouth.

Full information is available here.

Source: IARPA