Radioisotopes in medicine

Radioisotopes are extensively used in nuclear medicine to allow physicians to explore bodily structures and functions in vivo (in the living body) with a minimum of invasion to the patient. Radioisotopes are also used in radiotherapy (radiation therapy) to treat some cancers and other medical conditions that require destruction of harmful cells.

Radioisotopes, containing unstable combinations of protons and neutrons, are created by neutron activation involving the capture of a neutron by the nucleus of an atom resulting in an excess of neutrons (neutron rich). Proton rich radioisotopes are manufactured in cyclotrons. During radioactive decay, the nucleus of a radioisotope seeks energetic stability by emitting particles (alpha, beta or positron) and photons (including gamma rays).

Although nuclear medicine traces its clinical origins to the 1930s, the invention of the gamma scintillation camera by American engineer Hal Anger in the 1950s, however, brought major advances in nuclear medical imaging and rapidly elevated the use of radioisotpes in medicine. Radioisotopes allow high quality imaging of bones, soft organs (e.g., thyroid, heart, liver, etc.). A number of diagnostic techniques in nuclear medicine use gamma ray emitting tracers. The tracers are formed from the bonding of short-lived radioisotopes with chemical compounds that allow the targeting of specific body regions or physiologic processes. Emitted gamma rays (photons) can be detected by gamma cameras and computer enhancement of the resulting images allows quick and relatively non-invasive (compared to surgery) assessments of trauma or physiological impairments.

Technetium-99 (an isotope of the artificially-produced element technetium) is a radioisotope widely used in nuclear medical procedures. Technetium-99 decays by an isomeric process which emits gamma rays and low energy beta particles (electrons). Technetium is supplied to hospitals from nuclear reactors in containment vessels initially containing molybdenum-99 that, with a half-life of 66 hours, decays to technetium-99 which is removed by flushing.

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In your article or passage, 1. discuss the benefits and harmful effect of radioisotopes. 2. define isotopes and radioisotopes. 3. compare the properties…
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Radioisotopes that are used for diagnosis are used in very small amounts and have very quick half lives. They are specific for a certain organ or system and the

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Radioisotopes allow you to track molecules throughout the body. This is how PET scans work.

What you do is inject someone with a biological molecule (such as g

How does radioisotopes work for pharmaceuticals or in medicine?...

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How do radioisotopes exert their effect on tumors?...

Likely the radioisotopes are unstable and will decay emitting high energy particles that can ionize surrounding atoms and molecules leading to the destruction o

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