The usefulness of radiotracers to make the body biochemically transparent.

Amino acids

PubMedID: 15924214

Johannsen B. The usefulness of radiotracers to make the body biochemically transparent. Amino Acids. 2005;29(4):307-11.
Radioactive isotopes are uniquely applicable to observe reactions or circuits of reactions at the molecular level without disturbing the system being studied. The advent of molecular imaging modalities, particularly positron emission tomography (PET), is a major breakthrough for the visualisation and quantitative assessment of cellular and molecular processes occurring in living tissues. The recent development of animal PET scanners that offers 2-mm resolution and is tailored to laboratory rodent models, has made a further great impact on in vivo biochemistry. With these live-imaging modalities at hand, radiotracer-based technologies allow to look directly at biochemical distribution and interaction processes. Tremendous progress made in radiotracer chemistry, primarily in carbon-11 and fluorine-18 radiochemistry, and in the design of imaging devices strengthens the usefulness of radiotracers in nuclear medicine and drug research and development and opens exciting opportunities for new applications, e.g., in food science.