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Radioactive optical imaging and quantum dot nanoimaging

Materials for nuclear medicine and imaging technology help in understanding the behavior of particles at the cellular, molecular and atomic levels, but radioactive materials also emit weak visible light that can be detected using sensitive optical imaging technology. This discovery could give rise to innovative and advanced imaging methods 

Nano imaging
Nano imaging

During the 57th annual meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine, scientists presented the results of an interdisciplinary study looking at the reading of luminescent radiation emissions and radioactive nanoparticles that help detect faint signs of disease. Today, nuclear medicine materials and imaging technology help in understanding the behavior of particles at the cellular, molecular and atomic levels, but radioactive materials also emit weak visible light that can be detected using sensitive optical imaging technology. This discovery could give rise to innovative and advanced imaging methods.

"The need for this research has become apparent with the emergence of new molecular imaging research and dual-purpose imaging equipment and sensors that could provide earlier and more effective diagnosis for a variety of diseases," said Dr. Zhen Cheng, co-author of the paper describing the study, professor of radiology at Stanford University. "The research described bridges nuclear imaging and optical imaging. It signifies a new path for research in molecular imaging, and it is expected that it will lead to many applications for medical and bio-nanotechnological research as well as for clinical imaging."

The research scientists focused on low-energy light that originates in the visible light and near-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. This part is not visible to the human eye, but it can be detected using very precise optical cameras that capture light energy from the charged particles of radioactive sources. Researchers usually use molecular imaging materials to monitor a variety of biological processes inside the body. Imaging agents used in this study include fluorine-containing compounds (18F-FDG, Na18F); Compounds contain sodium and iodine (Na131I); Yttrium-based compounds (90Y-Cl3) as well as a peptide labeled with the radioisotope 90Y capable of selectively targeting cancer cells.

The findings indicate that radioactive molecular detectors and nanoimaging methods utilizing radiant light emission and fluorescent nanoparticles known as "quantum dots" could all be used in non-invasive functional imaging systems that would be coupled to optical imaging systems.

These studies will not only be able to have a significant impact on early detection and diagnosis of diseases, but they will also be able to be used in future applications in imaging-oriented healing methods.

The news about the study

2 תגובות

  1. sympathetic:
    In my opinion - the word "weak" (barely visible in the original) means a low amount of photons and not a frequency.

  2. I don't understand the claim "However, radioactive materials also emit weak visible light". I assume that what is meant by "weak" is low-frequency light, that is, what is described later "in low-energy light that originates in the visible and infrared light region". The characteristic of radioactive radiation is that it is emitted from the nucleus originating from the transition between nuclear levels. The characteristic of nuclear levels are their high energies compared to electronic levels, it is usually gamma radiation that is very energetic and can be in the range of several MeV, while electronic levels emit light with an energy of the order of eV. How then does radioactive radiation emit light in the visible and even infra-red frequencies (I assume that it means infrared)?

    In addition, what are: radioactive detectors quoted in the article - "Radioactive molecular detectors"? I have heard about detectors for radioactive materials but not about radioactive detectors.

    The article mentions quantum dots as "and fluorescent nanoparticles known as "quantum dots". Quantum dots are not necessarily nanoparticles and secondly they are not necessarily fluorescent! Quantum dots are semiconductor traps where the excitations of the semiconductor are trapped and simply potential wells in the semiconductor.

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