Production of isotopes

Common PET radio-isotopes, produced by a cyclotron, are oxygen-15 ((15)O), carbon-11 ((11)C), and fluorine-18 ((18)F) (with half-lives of 2.03 min, 20.4 min and 109.8 min respectively) whilst SPET radio-isotopes include technetium ( (99m)Tc) and iodine-123 ((123)I) (with half-lives of 6.02 h and 13.2 h respectively). SPET isotopes are less versatile than PET isotopes because the atoms are not normal constituents of many organic molecules (unlike carbon and oxygen) and because the large molecular size alters the properties of the molecule to which they are attached. However, SPET is cheaper than PET and less technically demanding, making it more readily available in hospitals and research centres.

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