Iron 59

An iron isotope; a gamma and beta emitter with a half-life of 44.51 days; used as tracer in the study of iron metabolism, determination of blood volume, and in blood transfusion studies.

Additional uses of Iron-59

  1. Medical research: Iron-59 is used in medical research to study the uptake and distribution of iron in the body. Iron is an essential element in the human body, and it is important for the production of red blood cells. Researchers can use Iron-59 to study how iron is absorbed and utilized by the body.
  2. Radiation therapy: Iron-59 has been used in radiation therapy to treat cancer. The radioactive decay of Iron-59 releases beta particles, which can destroy cancer cells. However, this use is not as common as other radioisotopes, such as iodine-131 and cobalt-60.
  3. Tracer studies: Iron-59 can be used as a tracer in biological and environmental studies. By adding a small amount of Iron-59 to a system, researchers can track how the iron is transported and utilized. For example, Iron-59 can be added to plants to study how they absorb nutrients from the soil.
  4. Industrial applications: Iron-59 is used in industrial applications to monitor corrosion in metal structures. By measuring the amount of Iron-59 that is released as a result of corrosion, engineers can estimate the rate of corrosion and take steps to prevent it.
  5. Nuclear energy: Iron-59 is produced as a byproduct of nuclear energy production. It can be used to study the behavior of neutrons in a nuclear reactor and to monitor the effects of radiation on materials.