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Soft materials are easily affected by radiation damage from intense, focused synchrotron beams, often limiting the use of scanning diffraction experiments to radiation-resistant samples. To minimize radiation damage in experiments on soft tissue and thus to improve data quality, radiation damage needs to be studied as a function of the experimental parameters. Here, the impact of radiation damage in scanning X-ray diffraction experiments on hydrated cardiac muscle cells and tissue is investigated. It is shown how the small-angle diffraction signal is affected by radiation damage upon variation of scan parameters and dose. The experimental study was complemented by simulations of dose distributions for microfocused X-ray beams in soft muscle tissue. As a simulation tool, the Monte Carlo software package EGSnrc was used that is widely used in radiation dosimetry research. Simulations also give additional guidance for a more careful planning of dose distribution in tissue.

Supporting information


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Compressed file containing the parameter settings of EGSnrc for the example shown in Fig. 4, as well as a material definition file and a file containing the expected output for the pre-defined simulation

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