The feasibility of accelerator-based in vivo neutron activation analysis of nitrogen
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The feasibility of accelerator-based in vivo neutron activation analysis of nitrogen has been investigated. It was found that a moderated neutron flux from approximately 10 microA of 2.5 MeV protons on a 9Be target performed as well as, and possibly slightly better than the existing isotope-based approach in terms of net counts per unit subject dose. Such a system may be an attractive alternative to the widespread use of (238,239)Pu/Be or 252Cf neutron sources, since there is more flexibility in the energy spectrum generated by accelerator-based neutron sources. From a radiation safety standpoint, accelerators have the advantage in that they only produce radiation when in operation. Furthermore, an accelerator beam can be pulsed, to reduce background detected in the prompt-gamma measurement, and such a device has a wide range of additional biological and medical applications.
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