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Researchers successfully use cost-effective Cherenkov radiation device to detect cancer

  • Published
    20th Apr, 2022
Context

Researchers have successfully developed a cost-effective method to detect cancer using Cherenkov radiation.

About

About Cherenkov radiation:

  • Cherenkov radiation is a particular kind of radiation that is emitted by charged particles (like electrons) when they pass through some mediums.
  • A good example of this kind of radiation is the characteristic blue glow of underwater nuclear reactors.
  • A new research has successfully used this kind of radiation to detect and locate the presence of cancer in patients.
  • The Cherenkov radiation is analogous with the more well-known sonic boom effect.
    • If an aircraft moves slower than the sound speed in a medium, the air deflection is smooth around the wings of the aircraft.
    • However if the motion speed exceeds the medium sound velocity, then a sudden pressure change would happen and shock waves propagate away from the aircraft in a cone at the speed of sound.
  • A Cherenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) procedure where charged particles released by the system cause the target tissue (the tumour) to vibrate and stop vibrating in such a way that they emit light which can be captured by a camera.
  • Advantage: It is much cheaper to purchase and use than current nuclear imaging technology.
  • Disadvantage: CLI images are not nearly as precise as those from PET/CT scans but the researchers believe that CLI can be used as an initial diagnostic test or assessment.
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