A biophysical model has been proposed in order to explain and predict the behavior of oxygen diffusion in bacterial cells after they have been rendered anoxic by a high intensity pulse of electrons. The model postulates the existence of a set of agents created by the radiation that slowly react with the diffusing oxygen. In so doing, the agents are neutralized and the oxygen molecules are prevented from reoxygenating the cells. The result is a transient absorption. The calculated oxygen concentration obtained from a modified diffusion equation gives adequate to good agreement with experiment. The model as applied to the experimental data yields numerical values for all physical parameters involved: the cellular diffusion coefficient, the interaction cross section, and the initial concentration of the oxygen-reacting agents. A nontrivial dependence of oxygen diffusion on dose and saturation oxygen concentration is also predicted.

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