Developments in Nuclear Medicine

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The number of luminescence molecules that get excited and the amount of energy absorbed from incident radiation

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Luminescence attributed to fluorescence which determines the intensity of the color observed. The principles of fluorescence require the fluorescent molecules of the fluorophore be excited from ground state by exposure to photons of light [2]. As the molecules return from excited from an excited state to ground state or any other lower energy level they dissipate the absorbed energy in various forms; heat and light (luminescence observed) being the major forms. When the fluorophore is exposed to incident radiation for a long period of time, its molecules gets more excited increasing the activity of the molecule [3]. This is because they get more time to absorb more radiation. Considering that the energy absorbed by the molecules from the incident radiation determines the energy of the emitted radiation, then increasing the energy absorbed by the molecules results in an increasing in the energy of the emitted light which relates to the intensity of the observed luminescence [4]. Therefore, particles that have been exposed to IVIS spectrum for a short time produce less luminescence compared to those that have been exposed for a shorter time [5].

The intensity of luminescence observed also depends on the number of molecules exhibiting fluorescent properties. Increasing the time of exposure enables more of the fluorescent molecules of the 18F-FDG to absorb photons energy from the incident radiation. As a result, more molecules are excited and as they return to a lower energy level most of them release the absorbed energy in the form of luminescence; hence increased the intensity of luminescence. Low time of exposure results in fewer fluorescent molecules getting excited hence lower intensity of luminescence emitted [6,7].

Tonic water and tap water fluoresce with bright blue lamination due to the presence of quinine (a fluorophore) in tonic water. Quinine absorbs light and gets excited. It then releases blue light as it returns to the less excited state [8]. Dilution affects the concentration of the fluorophores [9]. At high concentrations the quinidine particles can interact resulting in overlapping of their electronic orbitals. This results in changes in their (orbitals) energetic levels seen as peak fluorescence shift. The greater the dilution, the less the fluorescent luminescence emitted. This explains why as the drops of water were added quinine was unable to absorb light and hence could not emit blue light [10, 11]. Moreover dilution does not only affect fluorescent radiation but also affects Cerenkov radiation [12]. The principle of Cerenkov luminescence is the traveling of charged particles at a speed more than that of light in a specific medium which they are moving in [13]. Dilution alters the intensity of Cerenkov luminescence in a linear manner. As dilution increases it is, Cerenkov luminescence diminishes [13].


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