How Radioisotopes Can Affect Your Research

How Radioisotopes Can Affect Your Research

Radioactive isotopes are suitable for various applications in many fields, such as the medical, agricultural, and food industries. However, their intended purpose depends on specific needs. Learn how radioisotopes can affect your research to ensure your findings’ accuracy.

Understanding Radioisotopes

Radioisotopes (or radioactive isotopes) are a species of chemical elements formed through the natural decomposition of atoms. You’ll likely see radioisotopes in medical applications, as the industry highly regards them. Although radiation exposure can be harmful, using radiation in certain applications is critical to diagnosing and treating diseases (e.g., certain forms of cancer).

In modern times, nuclear medicine uses radiation to gather information about how a person’s specific organs are functioning. That said, using radioisotopes for diagnosis is routine practice.

You may be familiar with radiotherapy, which uses radiation to weaken or destroy targeted cells. This therapy stops cell growth, allowing people to recover from diseases.

Are There Different Types of Radioisotopes?

Yes, there are different types of radioisotopes. In fact, more than several thousand types of radioisotopes exist that scientists know of, but fewer than a hundred occur naturally. Natural radioactivity, known as nuclear transmutations, are organically occurring radioisotopes that contain long half-lives (some being billions of years old). Naturally occurring radioisotopes are present through the emission of alpha, beta, or gamma rays.

Man-made radioisotopes are common in nuclear medicine and other modern practices, with artificial radioactive isotopes being a lead player. Manufactured radionuclides are byproducts of the manufacturing process and are useful for scientific applications.

Researchers can detect radioactivity or utilize energy for applications like tracing environmental processes and studying biological structures. However, scientists and medical professionals often use them to diagnose and treat diseases.

Radioisotopes and Research

Radioactive isotopes have a variety of applications. That said, radioisotopes can affect your research depending on their intended purpose. For instance, researchers focusing on health-related effectiveness can use radiotherapy to treat certain medical conditions.

Furthermore, some consumer products rely on tiny amounts of radioactive materials to function, and radiography suits mineral analysis in the food and agriculture industry. All this to say, radioisotopes’ effectiveness depends on a scientist’s goals for their use.

Moravek is a leading chemical synthesis company with over 45 years of organic synthesis experience. We provide custom syntheses of radiolabeled, stable-labeled, and non-labeled compounds for clinical and non-clinical research. Contact us today if your lab requires custom compounds with exceptional success rates.