Beta and Alpha Particle Autoradiography

Authored by: Anders Örbom , Brian W. Miller , Tom Bäck

Handbook of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging for Physicists

Print publication date:  January  2022
Online publication date:  January  2022

Print ISBN: 9781138593268
eBook ISBN: 9780429489556
Adobe ISBN:


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Autoradiography is defined as technologies and methods used to produce a two-dimensional image of the distribution of activity in, or on, a thin and solid sample that is in close proximity to the detector. The images are usually formed by charged particles (α or β±), and image characteristics are determined both by the detector and the properties of the particles detected. This method is not widely employed in the clinic, but in a number of research settings such as pharmaceutical development. The application of the method can be done either ex vivo using tissue from animal models, or in vitro where the radiotracer is applied to tissue samples post sacrifice. This chapter will primarily discuss different detection systems used for autoradiography, beginning with the classical film emulsion and continuing to detail phosphor storage plates, scintillation-based detectors, gaseous detectors, and semiconductor-based imaging systems. A special focus is also made on detectors being capable of imaging alpha-particles. For each type of detector, applications of the system are presented from recent academic work to show the possibilities of using autoradiography to produce scientific data.

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