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PET scans: How clever chemistry uses radioactivity to help diagnose disease

Posted 12th January 2016

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans are a way of imaging body functions in 3D using specially designed radioactive molecules. How do they work?

This video explains the work of CDT Supervisor Dr Philip Miller from the Department of Chemistry at Imperial. Dr Miller creates radioactive tracer molecules, each of which is specially designed to have a biological function in the body.

These tracers can help image certain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and heart disease. Dr Miller is working on new tracers using different kinds of radioactive isotopes to create molecules that could help image a new range of functions, and ultimately improve the diagnosis of diseases.

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