The Importance of Gamma Radiation Detection Devices

January 10, 2020
Importance of Gamma Radiation Detection Devices - Neoprobe GDS - Neoprob NEO2000

The Importance of Gamma Radiation Detection Devices

Gamma radiation devices are used in a variety of cancer treatment situations. Gamma radiation detection devices are important ways to track the radiation that is administered to patients who have cancer. Soma Technology has a few gamma radiation devices that are available, with more information in this blog post. Continue reading to learn more about how gamma radiation devices are used in oncology settings, and learn more about the chemistry behind gamma radiation.

What is Gamma Radiation?

Gamma Radiation is what happens when atoms become radioactive. Radioactivity happens when an atom becomes unstable, resulting in an isotope. The degradation of that isotope is expressed in the form of radiation. Gamma rays have about less than 1/10th the length of a nanometer. Gamma rays are administered to destroy cancerous cells in humans. The breakdown of atoms in the nucleus of these cancer cells allows them to be destroyed. Once these cells are destroyed they cannot replicate thus essentially stopping the cancer. One issue with gamma radiation is how to specifically target these cancerous cells without damaging the healthy tissue around them. If healthy tissue is destroyed, it can weaken a person’s bodily functions and organ systems. Currently, gamma radiation is the only option that is used to fight cancer, including chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and surgical intervention.

What Can Gamma Detection Do?

There are some ways in which gamma detection can be incredibly helpful. Those who are undergoing cancer treatments can be given the option of radiation. The radiation they are given is based on the theory that ionizing radiation will damage their cancer cells. Damaged cancer cells can no longer replicate, thus with the intention of stopping the spread of cancer. However, because radiation is not completely centralized to malignant cells, healthy surrounding tissues are also damaged. The gamma detection devices can measure how much radiation is given to a patient.

Clinical Use 

Gamma detectors can be used in hospitals, surgical centers, oncology clinics, or any other facility where cancerous tumors are biopsied or removed.  Following the injection of a radioactive tracer near the suspected cancer, the gamma detector can be used pre-, intra, or postoperatively.  During a preoperative scan, the detector will assist the surgeon in identifying the location of the mass to be removed or biopsied.  Once the necessary incision is made, the detector will again be used to more precisely pinpoint the tumor’s location.  After the tumor is removed, additional readings of the incision and the removed tissue are made to confirm that the areas of greatest radioactivity have been removed.

Once a particular probe has been used during a procedure it must be sterilized before it can be used on another patient.  If it is suspected that the probe has become radioactively contaminated, the first step would be to wash the probe with a decontaminant solution.  Following that, the probe should be manually washed with an enzymatic detergent prior to sterilization.  Lastly, the probe can be sterilized using Ethylene Oxide (EO), liquid chemical sterilant, or gas plasma sterilizers.  However, it must be noted that the probes themselves cannot be steam sterilized and that different probe models are compatible only with certain sterilization methods so one should always check the manufacturer’s manual before choosing a specific method.

Who Are the Top Gamma Radiation Competitors in the Medical Sphere?

There are a few gamma radiation detector competitors in the medical sphere. Hologic currently has the TruNode single-use Gamma Probe System that is minimally invasive. The single-use nature of the probe is sterile and allows the insertion site to also be sterile and reduce the rate of infection. Other competitors are Capintec, Onco Vision, and Crystal Photonics. One of the most well-known gamma detection device companies is Neoprobe.


Neoprobe neo2000 Gamma Detection System - Soma Tech Intl


Neoprobe Neo2000

The Neoprobe Neo2000 is used for external and intra-operative detection of radioactivity in bodily tissues or organs, and where radio-pharmaceuticals are administered. This unit features a graphic display that accumulates light bars starting from the bottom as data is collected or time elapses during a count. The target count numeric display showed the radioactivity count detected by the probe while both scanning or after taking a target check. Other features include a ratio numeric display that shows default values or actual values of radioactivity counts detected after taking a background count, a ratio numeric display that lights up to show the ratio calculated, and a target count indicator light that flashes when the target count or target check is calculated and displayed.


Neoprobe GDS - Gamma Detection System - Soma Tech Intl.


The Neoprobe GDS

The Neoprobe GDS is a newer model of gamma radiation detector than the Neo2000. The GDS detects the presence of gamma rays emitted from radioactive isotopes in bodily organs and tissues. Using the inverse square law of physics, a small amount of radiation can be detected through small sources. The Neoprobe features Bluetooth wireless technology,  quick and easy startup with no calibration or preventative maintenance procedures.  This console has outstanding directionality and sensitivity, ensuring highly accurate localization of target tissues during gamma detection procedures. The Neoprobe GDS can detect six isotopes, and filter I-124 and Tc-99 simultaneously. This console has a height of 9″, and a width of 12″ and weighs a little less than six pounds.

Requesting a Gamma Detection System

If either of the above gamma detection systems is of interest to you, you can request a quote from our sales team. Click here to find the sales representative in your area. Our territory sales representatives can help you with questions about purchasing, and even rental options. Soma has a wide variety of medical equipment that we sell. We can outfit entire ambulatory surgical centers and physician’s offices. Our extensive equipment categories include ventilators, patient monitors, C-arms, surgical tables, anesthesia machines, and many more. Soma is a one-stop-shop type of experience with both a service and medical parts department.  We offer a competitive 1-year warranty on most products, with lifetime phone support, and a network of biomedical technicians that are ready on the chance that a unit is down. Our parts department offers a myriad amount of products for replacement parts. You can shop the selection of our spare parts on our Parts Website.

The Refurbishment Process

All of our refurbished units follow a strict process in our ISO 13485-certified facility. First, our units are sourced by our procurement department from hospitals and physician’s offices. If your facility has unwanted equipment, please contact our purchasing department to sell to Soma, and to get a quote on what your unit may be worth. After you submit a request to sell your equipment, a representative from the procurement team will contact you within 24 business hours. We are 100% HIPAA compliant.

Next, these units are tested by our team of CBET/CRES-certified biomedical engineers to see exactly what needs to be replaced. Once a plan is created the technical aspect of the refurbishment process can begin on the Neoprobe GDSs or the Neopobe NEO2000s. Our dedicated team of in-house biomedical engineers repairs and replaces necessary parts to ensure the Neoprobe is working like new. The unit undergoes more tests to fully ensure that everything is in working order before going to the cosmetics department. Once the Neoprobe goes to cosmetics, it gets cleaned up, sanded, painted, and if necessary decals are replaced. When the Neoprobe GDS and NEO2000 come out of cosmetics they now look and function like they did when they originally left the manufacturer. Before the unit gets labeled patient ready it undergoes one last quality test to fully ensure that it is ready to go. Then, it gets packed up and ready to ship.

Capital Medical Equipment Rentals

Did you know that Soma offers rentals on a lot of different equipment? Are you interested in a Neoprobe GDS rental or a Neoprobe NEO2000 rental? Contact your sales representative today to discuss the different rental options. Soma offers short-term, long-term, and rent-to-own options on a lot of our medical equipment. This gives the flexibility to adapt to your facility’s needs. Are you interested in other medical equipment rentals? Soma offers C-arm rentals, anesthesia machine rentals, mini C-arm rentals, ventilator rentals, and more!

Final Thoughts

Have you ever used a gamma radiation device? Are you familiar with the importance of Neoprobes as both products and as a manufacturer? Have you ever used one of these units in a procedure? Can you explain how your patient reacts to the usage of these gamma-detection devices? Is there another device or brand that you would rather use, or trust more?  If you are someone who has undergone radiation therapy, can you explain more about how you were affected and any more insightful information you have about these devices? Are you an oncology physician or nurse who has experience in using these detection devices? Comment below!


1 comment

  1. You made an interesting point when you talked about how gamma radiation detection devices are important. I would think that it would be a good idea to recalibrate gamma detection devices from time to time. It seems like recalibration would allow a gamma detection device to make accurate measurements.

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