Are you wondering which isotopes are used for radiolabeling? First, you should take note of the critical technique of isotopic labeling and the function of radioisotopes in an array of disciplines. Radioisotopes—isotopes of an atom with unstable nuclei—are used in a variety of medical science applications. As a form of isotopic labeling, radiolabeling is a specific technique generally used for tracking the changes in an isotope as it undergoes a metabolic pathway or reaction in a cell.
The fusion of these radioisotopes to biologically active substances allows for monitoring and imaging, clinical diagnosis, and API manufacturing for research. Let’s examine the different radioactive compounds utilized in radiolabeling, such as radioactive carbon, hydrogen, sulfur, and phosphorus.
Which isotopes are used for radiolabeling? There are several particular radioactive isotopes that are utilized to radiolabel molecules for a plethora of experiments, studies, or treatments. Each is handled with care, as they emit characteristic radiation. The most critical component for their utilization is the time of their half-life. The common radioisotopes to be aware of are:
Carbon-14 (¹⁴C): Carbon has three natural isotopes. Carbon-14 is a low-energy beta emitter that has a half-life of over 5,000 years. The characteristics of this radioactive isotope provide a wide utilization of applications, making it the top radiolabel of choice.
Tritium (³H): The radioactive isotope of hydrogen is relatively rare in its natural state, as it is typically produced in minuscule quantities. Tritium’s unstable nucleus emits beta decay electrons and is considered a highly radioactive element.
Sulfur (35S): Sulfur is an element that exists in nature in liquid, solid, and gaseous forms, but it is not a natural isotope. Sulfur has 25 known isotopes, and its longest half-life radioisotope is sulfur 35.
Phosphorus-32 (³²P): Phosphorus has 23 known isotopes. Phosphorus 32 has the highest energy, with a half-life of 14 days. This radioisotope is a regular research emitter within molecular biology.
Suppliers of Radiolabeled Compounds
Contact Moravek for more information about our top-quality custom radiolabeling. We custom-synthesize radiolabeled compounds for research using 14C, 3H, and 35S. Reach out to our customer service department with any questions about our testing methods, production processes, or equipment. Moravek’s radiochemistry specialists are here to assist with your custom project.