Autoradiograph – Definition & Meaning

Autoradiography is a technique used to visualize the location and distribution of radioactive isotopes in biological and chemical systems. The resulting image is called an autoradiograph, which is a crucial tool in many scientific disciplines, including biology, chemistry, and medicine. In this article, we will explore the definition, origin, meaning, associations, synonyms, and antonyms of autoradiograph.


An autoradiograph is a photographic image produced by the radiation emitted from a radioactive substance. It is a visual representation of the distribution of radioactive isotopes in a sample, such as cells, tissues, or molecules. The image is created by exposing a photographic film or plate to the sample, which has been labeled with a radioactive isotope.


The term autoradiograph comes from the Greek words “auto,” meaning self, “radio,” meaning radiation, and “graph,” meaning writing. The technique was first developed in the early 20th century, and it has since become a valuable tool in many scientific fields.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an autoradiograph is “a photographic image produced by the radiation emitted from a radioactive substance.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “an image produced by the radiation emitted from a radioactive substance, usually on a photographic film.”


Autoradiography is commonly used in biology to study the localization of labeled molecules or cells in tissues. It is also used in chemistry to study the distribution of labeled molecules in reaction products. Autoradiography has applications in medicine, such as in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, as well as in environmental science to study the fate and transport of radioactive contaminants.


Some synonyms for autoradiograph include radiograph, radioactive image, and radioautograph.


There are no direct antonyms for autoradiograph, as it is a specific technique and image.

The same root words

The root words “auto” and “graph” are also found in other scientific terms, such as autograph (a signature written by a person) and automatic (operating by itself).

Example Sentences

  • The autoradiograph revealed the distribution of labeled cells in the tissue sample.
  • The chemist used autoradiography to study the reaction products of the labeled molecules.
  • The doctor used an autoradiograph to diagnose the location and extent of the cancer.
  • The environmental scientist used autoradiography to study the movement of radioactive contaminants in the soil.
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