The “Laser Accelerator” which is part of the ELIMAIA beamline has been designed and developed at the Institute of Physics of the Academy of Science of the Czech Republic (IoP-ASCR) in Prague, while the ELIMED beam transport and dosimetry line has been designed and built at the National Laboratories of Southern Italy of the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (LNS-INFN) in Catania. ELIMED represents a key technology of the entire ELI Beamlines facility since it will enable users to carry out pre-clinical research for future applications in cancer therapy, such as irradiation of biological cells with short bunches of protons/ions accelerated by the HAPLS PW, 10 Hz laser system.
The initial ELIMED R&D project was launched in 2011 and subsequently formalized through a Memorandum-of-Understanding between IoP-ASCR and LNS-INFN. “ELIMAIA will be the first laser-based ion acceleration beamline entirely dedicated to users interested in investigating multidisciplinary applications with such non-conventional ion bunches, and the ELIMED section will be crucial to improve the ion beam quality and to deliver a shot-to-shot controlled dose onto user samples”, says Daniele Margarone, leader of the Research Program for commissioning and operating ELIMAIA. “This will be the first facility in the world, open to users across the globe where researchers will be able to investigate the behavior of such unique beams with unprecedented characteristics for various applications, including the medical ones”, adds Pablo Cirrone leader of the INFN-LNS team in charge of the design, realization and delivery of the ELIMED beam transport and dosimetry line for pre-clinical and multidisciplinary applications.
An international scientific network particularly interested in future applications of laser driven ions for hadrontherapy, ELI MEDical applications (ELIMED), has been established during the implementation of ELIMAIA at ELI Beamlines. In fact, the entire ELIMAIA design and development is based on user requirements which have been gathered over the years at international level through the ELIMED network and a series of workshops which have gathered users from several different disciplines (Physics, Biology, Medicine, Chemistry, Materials Science, Engineering, and Archeology).