Understanding Engineering Nuclear Medicine Activity
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Understanding Engineering: Nuclear Medicine Activity Name: _________________________ Date: ____________ Period: ______ Teacher: _________ 1. Half-life is an important issue to consider when selecting a radioisotope for treatment. What would you want the half-life of a radioisotope to be if it was to be used for treating a cancer patient for a month? a. 1-10 days b. 10-100 days c. 100 days-10 years d. 10-10,000 years The half life is the time that it takes for half of the radioisotope to decay. If it was too short, like 9 days, the radiation would be weakened too early, thus not allowing the patient to receive the full treatment needed. 2. What are some benefits of nuclear imaging over x-ray imaging? If necessary, refer to http://www.cvgs.k12.va.us/nuclear/MedIso.htm As mentioned both on the web site and in the information section of the worksheet, nuclear imaging is far more comprehensive than x-ray imaging since it allows soft tissue to be viewed. Unlike x-ray imaging, nuclear imaging creates an image using a device called a gamma camera to capture the radiation given off by radioisotopes that the patient has either inhaled or been injected with. For the 3 questions below, you may need to consult a periodic table. For an online version, visit www.WebElements.com . 3. The isotope Chromium-51, which is used to label red blood cells, has 27 neutrons and 24 protons. Is it proton rich or neutron rich? Why? Chromium-51 is neutron rich because it contains excess neutrons. 4. The isotope Iodine-131, which is used in used in treating and imaging the thyroid, as well as in liver treatment, has 78 neutrons and 53 protons. Is it proton rich or neutron rich? Why? Iodine-131 is also neutron rich because it contains excess neutrons. 5. The isotope Carbon-11, which is used in studying brain physiology, has 5 neutrons and 6 protons. Is it proton rich or neutron rich? Why? Carbon-11 is proton rich because it contains excess protons. 6. Based on your answers for the previous three questions, what process do you think was used to make each one? Nuclear activation by a nuclear reactor or the use of a cyclotron? Support your answers. Chromium-51 and Iodine-131 were both created by the use of a nuclear reactor, since that is the only way that they could have been enriched with excess neutrons. Carbon-11 was generated with the use of a cyclotron, since cyclotrons are used to make an element proton rich.