Applications of Radioactivity in Medicine


A radioactive element is an factor with an unpredictable nucleus, which radiates alpha, beta or gamma rays and gets changed into a stable aspect.

Both radioisotopes and enriched stable isotopes are essential to a multitude of applications in medicine, where they are being used in the prognosis and treatment of health problems. In addition, considerable applications of isotopes in biomedical research detects large parallel uses in research chemistry, physics, biology and geosciences, with additional needs existing in the industry sector.


Radioactivity arrived on the scene of the world in the 19th century, just when people thought they understood everything in knowledge. With its discovery in 1896, radioactivity exposed a box of many questions and uncovered a new world, ready to be explored in the microcosm of the atomic nucleus.

Radioactivity also helped in answering the questions that have been not yet known. This helped research in many fields.


There are three types of particles in a atom: that is protons, neutrons and electrons. The nucleus provides the above mentioned two particles i. e. protons and neutrons. The spot beyond the nucleus contains electrons that balance the charge of the protons. The amount of protons is equal to the number of neutrons that is why the atomic weight is double the atomic number. Since like charges repel one another which results a push that tries to motivate the electrons and protons aside. If the proportion of protons to the neutrons is not within certain limits then the proton can not be held firmly alongside one another which contributes to the forming of an unpredictable nucleus. Making the isotopes of some elements radioactive.

For example, carbon, the factor found in all living things has a chemical symbol C. the standard form comes with an atomic weight of 12 which is written as carbon-12, but the radioactive version has two extra neutrons, so the sign iscarbon-14.

As we will see, the radioactive form behaves chemically similar to the non-radioactive form, although one shall never become the other. You can find three kinds of radioactivity each with different rays type.


Radioactivity is an extremely interesting sensation in dynamics. Classical Electromagnetism cannot describe radioactivity. From the spontaneous and random occurrence whereby nuclei of certain chemical substance elements like Uranium, radiate gamma rays, beta particles and alpha particles.

By the emission of these particles and rays, the unpredictable nucleus gets changed into a well balanced nucleus. That is called RADIOACTIVE DECAY.

Radioactivity was unintentionally discovered by HENRI BECQUEREL.

Scientists like Madam Curie and her spouse Pierre also performed hard to isolate other radioactive elements such as Polonium and Radium. Knowledge of radioactivity helped scientists to work through the set ups of atoms.


We cannot do without radioactive materials in today's world, even if we wanted to. We rely on these radioactive elements every day to make us healthier, to help source requirements like food and electricity, keep us safer, help us to safeguard the environment, add fun and convenience to our lives and help us find out about our world.

Radioisotopes have found a sizable range of applications. Some of them are as follows
  • Medical Diagnosis
  • Generate Electricity
  • Synthesis of new elements
  • Preservation of food
  • Smoke detectors

and many more


Ionizing radiations has many beneficial uses as they could be used for the identification and then for the curing of many diseases. Since contaminated skin cells can be wiped out by these radiations. Hence they are really trusted in caner treatments.

Radioactive isotopes are commonly used in drugs, that assist the physicians to learn more about the body structures. For the treating cancers radioisotopes are generally used which require damage of harmful skin cells causing these type of diseases.

Although nuclear remedies started its scientific origin in the 1930 10 years, the technology of gamma scintillation camera by an North american engineer Hal Anger in the mid of 1950s, though, this technology brought an important turn back in remedies imaging Radioactive isotopes also allow excellent quality imaging of bones, heart, liver organ and many parts of the body. Gamma ray emitted tracers are used in large numbers of diagnostic strategies in nuclear remedies. These traces are produced because of the bonding of radioisotopes having short life period with chemical substances that permit the targeting of a particular body parts or physiologic procedures. Emitted gamma rays can be diagnosed by gamma cameras and computer development of the causing images allows quick and relatively non-invasive assessments of injury or physiological impairments.

CANCER which really is a process of immediate growth of cells gets broken by radio isotopic radiations. Somehow, some tumor of skin cells can be removed or restricted by the use of radioisotope radiations. The most frequent forms of external radiations therapy is use of the gamma radiations and X-rays. During the last 50 percent of the twentieth century the radioisotope Cobalt-60 was most commonly used way to obtain radiation found in such treatments.

Today thousands of hospitals across the world use radioisotopes in medicine, and about 90% of the procedures are used for analysis. Technetium-99 is the most frequent isotope used in examination, with some 30 million types of procedures in a season, accounting for 80% of all nuclear medicine steps all over the world.


There are about 20 radioactive isotopes used in treatments. Each isotope has its own use in this field.

Some of these are

Chromium-51, cobalt 60, Erbium 169, Iodine-125, Iridium-192, Sodium-24, Xenon-133, Selenium-75, Strontium-89, Phosphorus-32 etc.

Here is a set of isotopes with there half life period and uses
  • Chromium-51: Half life period 28 days and nights Purpose: Accustomed to label red bloodstream cells and quantify gastro- intestinal protein loss.
  • Cobalt-60: Half life period is 10. 5 calendar months Purpose: Previously used for exterior beam radiotherapy.
  • Erbium-169 Half life period is 9. 4 times Purpose: Use for alleviating arthritis pain in synovial joints.
  • Iodine-125 50 percent life period is 60 days Purpose: Used in cancer Brach remedy (prostate and brain), also diagnostically to evaluate the purification rate of kidneys and also to diagnose profound vein thrombosis in the lower leg. Additionally it is trusted in radioimmunology- assays showing the existence of human hormones in tiny quantities.
  • Iodine-131 One half life period is 8 times Purpose: Widely used in treating thyroid malignancy and in imaging the thyroid; also in prognosis of abnormal liver function, renal (kidney) blood flow and urinary system obstruction. A solid gamma emitter, but used for beta therapy. Iodine used for curing thyroid cancer
  • Iridium-192 half life period is 74 days and nights Purpose: Offered in line form for use as an interior radiotherapy source for tumor treatment (used then removed).
  • Sodium-24 50 percent life period is 15 hours Purpose: For studies of electrolytes within the body.
  • Xenon-133 One half life period is 5 days Purpose: Used for pulmonary (lung) ventilation studies.
  • Phosphorus-32 1 / 2 life period is14 times Purpose: Used in the treating polycythemia Vera (excess red blood cells). Beta emitter.
  • X-Rays are used to examine the internal areas of the body that is bone fragments to start to see the fractures.

Applications of X-Rays:

  • Radiography: Radiography is used to diagnose the disease and diseases of the inner and hidden areas of the body using x-rays.
  • Fluoroscopy: Fluoroscopy is a type of medical imaging that shows a continuous x-ray image on the monitor.
  • Digital Subtraction Angiography: Digital Subtraction Angiography (DSA) is employed to image blood vessels.
  • Computerized Axial Tomography: A computerized axial tomography check can be an x-ray method that combines many x-ray images with the aid of a computer to create cross-sectional views and, if needed, three-dimensional images of the internal organs and constructions of your body.
  • Mammography: Mammography is a special type of x-ray that is employed for the specific images of breast.
  • Radiation Remedy: Radiation remedy (also known as radiotherapy), high-energy rays are used to damage tumors cells and stop them from growing and dividing. A specialist in radiation remedy is named a rays oncologist.

Uses of Radioactive Materials in Medical Research

Used in Biomedical researches: - The Radioactive isotopic materials are very essential in curing many dreadful diseases like AIDS, tumors and Alzheimer's disease.

In Prescription tests: - The U. N. Food and Drug Administration require all new pharmaceutical drugs to be analyzed for security and effectiveness. A lot more than about 80 percent of those drugs are tested with radioactive materials. Among the most important tests is to find out if the pharmaceutical is going to the other areas of the body than the required or intended target and what impact it can cause to the parts where it isn't needed. By adding a radioactive label to the pharmaceutical, researchers can identify all the areas of the body and the concentration that accumulates non-targeted areas. From this they can determine if there is likelihood of effects in other areas of the body.

Metabolic Research: - Radionuclide can be used thoroughly in metabolic studies and hereditary engineering.

Chemical Effect Imaging: - the latest solitary photon emission typography (SPET) on positron emission tomography (PET) enable experts to watch coloring images of chemical type reactions in living structure and, in particular, to track opioid molecules- naturally occurring morphine-type drugs - which eliminate pain within the mind.

Side Ramifications of Radiation

The form of the energies that are released from these elements in rays remedy is often administered by machine. The device seeks those radiations at the cancer tumor. Radioactive substances can also be kept inside your body of the person. These kinds of treatments can cause many side effects.

These side effects can include
  • hair loss
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • swelling
  • difficulty swallowing
  • urinary and bladder changes

The side effects caused due to the treatment of the individual can last miss a certain period of time. It may be an interval of 8 weeks, six months or perhaps a year. So the patient has to bear some aches after or during the healing of fatal diseases like cancer using radiation remedy.

Radioactive Waste Disposal: An Environmental Perspective

Any activities that produce or use radioactive materials create radioactive wastes. Various operations in medicine, medical result and in all other areas produce bi products that include radioactive wastes. Radioactive waste can maintain gas, water or solid form, and its own level of radioactivity may differ. The throw away can stay radioactive for a couple of hours or almost a year or even hundred or thousands of years. Since it can be harmful and can continue to be radioactive for such a long time, finding suitable disposal facilities for radioactive wastes is very hard. Depending on the type of waste materials disposed, the disposal facility might need to contain radiations for a long time. Proper disposal is vital to ensure safeguard of the health and safe practices of the general public and quality of mid-air, soil and water supplies.

Radioactivity waste disposal practices have altered substantially during the last twenty years. Evolving environmental security things to consider have provided the impetus to improve disposal systems, and, in some cases, tidy up facilities that are no more in use. Designs for new disposal facilities and removal methods must meet environmental cover and pollution prevention benchmarks that are stricter than were foreseen at the beginning of the atomic years.


One century ago, a group of experts unknowingly ushered in the atomic era. Driven by curiosity, these men and women explored the nature as well as the working of atom. Their work initiated the pathways of research which transformed our understanding of the inspiration of subject. There discoveries well prepared the way for development of new methods and tools used to explore our roots, the functioning of our bodies both in sickness and health, and much more. How did our conceptions of atomic properties change? How has that change damaged our lives and our understanding of world?

Radiation is a two edged sword: its effectiveness in both drugs and anthropological and archaeological studies is undisputed, the same materials can be utilized for destruction. Individuals curiosity drove inquiring experts to harness the power of your atom. Now humankind must admit the responsibility for the correct and beneficial uses of the very powerful tool.

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