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Radioisotopes in Medicine - Essay Example

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An essay "Radioisotopes in Medicine" reports that these species are called isotopes of the same element. These isotopes are possessed by all elements.  These isotopes have been divided into stable and unstable.  Unstable isotopes are those which undergo radioactive decay…
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Radioisotopes in Medicine
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Download file to see previous pages There are neutrons found in the nucleus. These are the neutrons which give an element a radioactive status. Unlike the protons, these neutrons are found in the different number of different at atoms of the same element and based on this difference in the number of neutrons the isotope status is acquired by an element. The sum of protons and neutrons in an atom is called its atomic mass. So atomic number of all atoms of an element is the same but atomic mass could be different (Medical isotopes). There are some elements which decay and are converted to isotopes that posses the properties of unstable isotopes; examples are uranium and thorium. The same isotopes can be generated artificially when it does not exist naturally in some elements. This is achieved by a combination of protons and neutrons. These radioisotopes can be obtained through a variety of ways but the most frequent way of producing radioisotopes is by neutron activation in a nuclear reactor. There are two major outcomes which give radioisotope status to an element, either by gaining a neutron and making an atom neutron rich or by gaining a proton and resulting in proton rich atom. The unstable state of a radioisotope is converted to stable one by the emission of alpha or beta particle with some energy release in the form of gamma rays. In fact, this is radioactive decay of that atom. In medicine, these radioactive products are termed as radiopharmaceuticals (Medical isotopes).  Around the first decade of the last century there had been some initial, discussions on the issues of radioactivity and radioisotopes like thorium and ionium. Most of the radioisotopes which are in more frequent use today were discovered during the third decade of the last century. Radioactive isotopes like, iodine-131, cobalt-60, technetium-99m and others were discovered during a short period of three years (1938-1941) (Radioisotopes for diagnosis and treatment).  Till mid-seventies of the last century there was not much development in the field when some newly discovered radioisotopes along with technetium-99m revolutionized the field of nuclear medicine when technetium-generator made it practical to convert inactive pharmaceuticals to be labelled on the hospital premises (Radioisotopes in medicin). In 1980s, gamma cameras performance was improved through computer integration which helped in enhancing the processes and eventually the quantification of the radioactivity emitted. (Radioisotopes in medicin). Around the last decade of the last century the image quality as well as details were made improved with the help of single photon emission computer tomography (SPECT) systems. Radioisotopes utilization in Medicine  Radioisotopes have been utilized in medicine very extensively for preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic and prognostic purposes. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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