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Fusion Science and Technology
Researchers report fastest purification of astatine-211 needed for targeted cancer therapy
Astatine-211 recovery from bismuth metal using a chromatography system. Unlike bismuth, astatine-211 forms chemical bonds with ketones.
In a recent study, Texas A&M University researchers have described a new process to purify astatine-211, a promising radioactive isotope for targeted cancer treatment. Unlike other elaborate purification methods, their technique can extract astatine-211 from bismuth in minutes rather than hours, which can greatly reduce the time between production and delivery to the patient.
“Astatine-211 is currently under evaluation as a cancer therapeutic in clinical trials. But the problem is that the supply chain for this element is very limited because only a few places worldwide can make it,” said Jonathan Burns, research scientist in the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station’s Nuclear Engineering and Science Center. “Texas A&M University is one of a handful of places in the world that can make astatine-211, and we have delineated a rapid astatine-211 separation process that increases the usable quantity of this isotope for research and therapeutic purposes.”
The researchers added that this separation method will bring Texas A&M one step closer to being able to provide astatine-211 for distribution through the Department of Energy’s Isotope Program’s National Isotope Development Center as part of the University Isotope Network.
Details on the chemical reaction to purify astatine-211 are in the journal Separation and Purification Technology.
R. W. Petzoldt, R. Gallix, D. T. Goodin, E. I. Valmianski, ARIES Team, W. S. Rickman
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 49 | Number 1 | January 2006 | Pages 56-61
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST06-A1085
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The hohlraum surrounds the fuel capsule in a heavy ion fusion (HIF) target. The hohlraum absorbs ion beam driver energy and emits this energy uniformly around the capsule in the form of X-rays. High-atomic-number materials are necessary in the walls of the hohlraum to contain the X-ray energy around the capsule during the implosion process. These high-atomic-number hohlraum materials affect many aspects of an HIF power plant operation. A systematic review of available information for all high-atomic-number elements was conducted to select candidate hohlraum materials. The effects of materials on target fabrication, energy cost, target gain, radioactivity, chemical toxicity, and potential for recycle were considered. Lead and tungsten are the lowest-cost acceptable materials in the primary coolant. The combination of lead and tungsten provide better target gain than either material alone. Seeding the primary coolant with submicron-sized tungsten particles can minimize tungsten growth in small openings in power plant components such as vacuum tritium disengagers. Concerns remain for possible tungsten particle agglomeration, settling, or erosion caused by tungsten particles. Tungsten could be replaced by several lanthanide elements if tungsten proves unacceptable.