Non-exchangeable organically bound tritium (OBT): Its real nature

F. Baumgärtner, W. Donhaerl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Denaturation experiments show that the larger part of organically bound tritium (OBT) consists of "buried tritium" and is not bound to carbon, as has been traditionally assumed. The logistical growth analysis of hydrogen isotopes in dry plant matter reveals a larger rate of increase of OBT than organically bound hydrogen (OBH). This is reflected by tritium accumulation for 1.4 and 2 in the primary hydration shell and in the base-pairing hydrogens of DNA respectively. If tritons and protons are considered as quantum mechanical entities, the accumulative tritium transfer from water to the hydrogen bonds of biopolymers is generally valid. Growth experiments confirm the assumed rapid isotope exchange "in vivo", which is not observed "in vitro" by denaturation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-209
Number of pages6
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2004


  • DNA
  • Hydrogen bonding
  • Hydrogen isotope exchange
  • In vivo
  • Logistical growth analysis
  • OBT
  • Radiation dose
  • Tritium


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