Autoradiography is a radioisotope-detec-tion method that records the spatial distribution of radioisotope-labeled substances within a membrane or specimen material. The ionizing radiation (usually P particles) that is emitted from the radioisotope interacts with the silver halide grains within the emulsion of the photographic film, forming a latent image. The latent image is amplified by the action of the developer during processing, thus creating a visible image. The pattern and density of the image are used to locate and quantify the radioactive distribution.
Commercially available autoradiography films are best suited for autoradiography because of their high sensitivity to both light and ionizing radiation. Autoradiography films generally yield higher-contrast images with a shorter exposure time than medical X-ray films and other commercially available photographic films.
The most appropriate choice of autoradiog-raphy film depends upon the detection requirements of the experiment and the type and quantity of the radiolabeled isotope. Several autora-diography films are designed and used with very specific exposure methods and radioiso-topes—e.g., BioMax MR and BioMax MS (Eastman Kodak). BioMax MR is designed for direct-exposure detection of 14C and 35S radioisotopes and BioMax MS is designed for exposure detection of 32P and 125I radioisotopes with an intensifying screen. The following descriptions of films and exposure procedures will assist in optimizing autoradiography techniques.
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