Medical Applications of a Nuclear Reactor
American Journal of Internal Medicine
Volume 7, Issue 1, January 2019, Pages: 1-4
Received: Dec. 12, 2018;
Accepted: Jan. 2, 2019;
Published: Jan. 31, 2019
Views 329 Downloads 41
Albert Van de Wiel, Department Radiation Science and Technology, Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands; Department of Internal Medicine, Gastro Enterology and Geriatrics, Meander Medical Center, Amersfoort, Netherlands
Menno Blaauw, Department Radiation Science and Technology, Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands
Follow on us
Nuclear reactors are usually associated with the production of energy, but some reactors, including the reactor facility of the University of Technology Delft, The Netherlands, are being used for scientific research. This review describes the current possible applications of such a research facility in medicine. This concerns in the first place the production of various nuclides and chemical carriers, which are now widely used in clinical medicine. Both α and β emitters can be effective in the treatment of tumors and metastases, while γ-emission allows imaging of organs and activity of biological processes. A less well-known application of a research reactor is instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA), a technique for qualitative and quantitative multi-element analysis of major, rare and trace elements in all kinds of materials, including those from human origin such as blood, nails, hair and tissue samples. In contrast to mass spectrometry, INAA is not restricted to measurement in small samples, since even large samples up to kilograms can be analyzed. This is especially of importance when an element is not distributed homogeneously in materials. INAA is also used in biomonitoring to measure the burden of toxic chemical compounds and elements in biological substances. A promising development is the use of enriched stable isotopes, an attractive alternative for the application of radioactive tracers in the study of the bioavailability and distribution of essential trace elements and metals in the human body.
Nuclear Research Reactor, Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis, Enriched Stable Isotopes, Radionuclides
To cite this article
Albert Van de Wiel,
Medical Applications of a Nuclear Reactor, American Journal of Internal Medicine.
Vol. 7, No. 1,
2019, pp. 1-4.
Copyright © 2019 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Öhrström L, Reedijk J. Names and symbols of the elements with atomic number 113, 115, 117 and 118 (IUPAC recommendations 2016). Pure and Applied Chemistry 2016; 88(12): 1225-29.
Samsonov GV (ed): Handbook of the physicochemical properties of the elements. 2012 Springer.
Dauphas N, Rouxel O. Mass spectrometry and natural variations of iron isotopes. Mass Spectrometry Reviews 2006; 25(4): 515-50.
Petrucci RH, Harwood WS, Herring FG (eds). General Chemistry (8th edition). 2002: 1025-26. Prentice-Hall.
Yeong CH, Cheng M, Ng KH. Therapeutic radionuclides in nuclear medicine: current and future prospects. J Zhejiang University Science B. 2014; 15(10): 845-63.
Greenberg RR, Bode P, De Nadai Fernandes EA. Neutron activation analysis: a primary method of measurement. Spectrochimica Acta Part B: atomic spectroscopy.2011; 66(3-4): 193-241.
Van de Wiel A, Blaauw M. Large sample neutron activation analysis in mass balance and nutritional studies. J Nutritional Sciences 2018 in press.
Yagob T, Bode P, Van de Wiel A, Wolterbeek H Th. Mass balance studies of iron without the need of subsampling using large sample neutron activation analysis. Russian J Microelements in medicine 2017; 18(2): 28-33.
Wolterbeek H Th. Biomonitoring of trace elements air pollution: principles, possibilities, and perspectives. Environ Pollut 2002; 120: 11-21.
Garty J. Biomonitoring heavy metal pollution with lichens. In Kranner, Beckett and Varma (eds): Protocols in lichenology, culturing, biochemistry, ecophysiology and use in biomonitoring. 2002, Springer Lab Manual: 458-82.
Vieira BJ, Freitas MC, Wolterbeek H Th. Elemental composition of air masses under different altitudes in Azores, central north Atlantic. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 2012; 291: 63-9.
Echeverry P, Hawthorne KM, Liang LK, Abrams SA, Griffin IJ. Effect of beef and soy proteins on the absorption of non-heme iron and inorganic zinc in children. J Am Coll Nutr 2006; 25(1): 34-40.
Yagob T, Van de Wiel A, Kraaijenhagen R, Bode P, Wolterbeek H Th. Iron concentrations in blood compartments in anaemic and hemochromatosis patients measured by neutron activation analysis. ISTERH 15 2015, Croatia.