By Yutaka Kobayashi
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Additional resources for Biological Applications of Liquid Scintillation Counting
General Considerations of Sample Preparation counting is necessary. Tritiated samples always require more attention than samples containing carbon-14 because tritium is the weakest beta emitter used and therefore the most sensitive to quenching. In addition, if samples are low in activity, a preparation that results in a markedly quenched sample may require a long or even a prohibitive amount of counting time. In contrast, for samples that contain high activity or for situations in which available counting time is not a major consideration, convenience and economy in laboratory preparation may be decisive factors in selecting a method for sample preparation.
Although dioxane freezes at 12°C, rendering it unsuitable when the counter is operated at reduced temperatures, this obstacle has been overcome either by adding secondary agents to act as an antifreeze or by counting at room temperature. The solvent comprises the bulk of the sample and, therefore, presents the greatest potential danger for containing quenching impurities. Purification of reagent-grade toluene is not necessary, but for dioxane, which forms strongly quenching peroxides on standing, purification of the solvent may result in significant improvement in counting efficiency.
A novel method for volume correction utilizes both a channels ratio determination and a second gamma emitter to monitor volume. 2. The reproducibility of the method depends on the maintenance of constant geometry between the external gamma-ray source and the sample vial. This is difficult in an automatic system, for after being cycled by the sample belt the sample is seldom returned to exactly the same position on the sample elevator for recounting. 3. The Compton electrons produced by the external standard are energetic electrons and do not mimic exactly the behavior of weak beta particles in the sample itself.
Biological Applications of Liquid Scintillation Counting by Yutaka Kobayashi