The Science of DDW

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Constantly growing interest in the stable isotopes of oxygen is explained by its huge role in plant and animal life, in the development of isotopic analysis methods, and the transition of pure research techniques in biochemistry into the practice of clinical medicine. Using the compounds “labeled” Oxygen-18 isotope allows identifying causes of many diseases of the nervous and cardiovascular systems to diagnose lung diseases and determine the effectiveness of pharmaceuticals in studying and treating brain diseases.


• Oxygen-18 is a precursor for medical radioisotope Fluorine-18 [18F] production, which finds its utilization in PET (positron emission tomography).

This is one of the most typical applications of Oxygen-18. Rapidly developing in recent years, positron emission tomography (PET) is a modern method of clinical medical diagnosis and biochemical research. Oxygen-18 in the water or gaseous form is a source for short-lived positron-emitting isotope fluorine-18, which allows tracking of cerebral blood flow processes and glucose metabolism in the central nervous and cardiovascular system systems, evaluating the impact of drugs on neuroreceptors. 18F is also used in brain imaging and several hundred PET centers, providing invaluable assistance to tens of millions of people annually in various countries.

• Use of Flourine-18 as the tracer during medical and biological research.

This kind of utilization of the product has been found its implementation because of the necessity to study life processes of the brain according to the analysis of metabolic products of biogenic acids in the blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid under the supervision and treatment of patients with schizophrenia, manic depression, Parkinson’s disease, or the study of oxygen exchange in the lung alveoli in the diagnosis of pulmonary diseases. In these cases, Oxygen-18 can be introduced into the body by simply inhaling molecular oxygen. It should be noted that such use of the isotope Oxygen-18 has become possible due to the rapid development of isotopic analysis methods.

• Use of Oxygen-18 for the same purpose in formulating large-scale environmental studies. 

Through the development of various methods of isotopic analysis has been achieved the possibility of the effective use of stable isotope-labeled compounds in many environmental programs. Moreover, experts note that using stable isotopes of oxygen contributes significantly to the overall environmental program. For example, the utilization of sulfur dioxide, marked isotope oxygen-18, makes it possible to identify the source of acid pollution after clouds moved for hundreds of kilometers.

• Use of Oxygen-18 to create therapeutic cancer drugs. 

This direction is currently exploratory. Positive results of studies in this area could lead to a sharp increase in demand for the isotope Oxygen-18.
Thus, increased production of Oxygen-18 is essential for accomplishing launched programs and for gaining achievements and improvements in health and environmental programs and basic sciences. It is very important not only for individual countries and regions but also for humanity

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