Glossary of Terms

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A B C D E F G H I L M N O P R S T U X

R

  • Radiation

    The emission of energy as electromagnetic waves or as moving subatomic particles, especially high-energy particles that cause ionization.
  • Radiopharmaceuticals/radioactive tracers

    Radioactive tracers are made up of carrier molecules that are bonded tightly to a radioactive atom. The carrier molecule is designed to bind to the tissue being examined so that the radioactive atom can be scanned to produce an image from inside the body.
  • Raman Spectroscopy

    This technique relies on inelastic scattering of visible, near-infrared, or near-ultraviolet light that is delivered by a laser. The laser light interacts with molecular vibrations in the material being examined, and shifts in energy are measured that reveal information about the properties of the material. The technique has a wide variety of applications including identifying chemical compounds and characterizing the structure of materials and crystals. In medicine, Raman gas analyzers are used to monitor anesthetic gas mixtures during surgery.
  • Rapid diagnostic test

    Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are medical diagnostic tests that provide quick results and can be used in various settings. Results are typically indicated in an hour or less. Pregnancy testing is one example of an RDT, producing results within several minutes. RDTs have become a widely used method to detect a range of infections using blood, saliva, or urine samples. Examples of infections for which RDTs have been developed include malaria, strep throat, STDs, and HIV. Reliable and accurate COVID-19 RDTs are a goal of NIBIB’s Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Tech (RADx Tech) initiative.
  • Regenerative Medicine

    A broad field that includes tissue engineering but also incorporates research on self-healing – where the body uses its own systems, sometimes with the help of foreign biological material to rebuild tissues and organs.
  • Rehabilitation Engineering

    The use of engineering science and principles to develop technological solutions and devices to assist individuals with disabilities, and aid the recovery of physical and cognitive functions lost because of disease or injury.
  • Robotic Surgery

    Surgery performed through very small incisions or natural orifices using thin finger-like robotic tools controlled remotely by the surgeon through a telemanipulator or computer interface.