Radioactive Tracer Definition

What Is a Radioactive Tracer?

Radioactive tracers are used in nuclear medicine, as in this bone scan used to detect cancer.
Radioactive tracers are used in nuclear medicine, as in this bone scan used to detect cancer. PASIEKA / Getty Images

Radioactive Tracer Definition: A radioactive tracer is a radioactive element or compound added to material to monitor the material's distribution as it progresses through a system.

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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Radioactive Tracer Definition." ThoughtCo, Jul. 24, 2017, thoughtco.com/definition-of-radioactive-tracer-605582. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2017, July 24). Radioactive Tracer Definition. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-radioactive-tracer-605582 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Radioactive Tracer Definition." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-radioactive-tracer-605582 (accessed January 22, 2018).