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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.
S. P. Hatchett, D. Clark, M. Tabak, R. E. Turner, C. Stoeckl, R. B. Stephens, H. Shiraga, K. Tanaka
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 49 | Number 3 | April 2006 | Pages 327-341
Technical Paper | Fast Ignition | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST06-A1152
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The fast ignition concept requires the generation of a compact, dense, pure fuel mass accessible to an external ignition source. The current baseline fast ignition target is a shell fitted with a reentrant cone extending to near its center. Conventional direct or indirect drive collapses the shell near the tip of the cone, and then an ultraintense laser pulse focused to the inside cone tip generates high-energy electrons to ignite the dense fuel. Two-dimensional (2-D) calculations of this concept have sparsely explored the large design space available to optimize compaction of the fuel and maintain the integrity of the cone. Experiments have generally validated the modeling while revealing additional complexities. Away from the cone, the shell collapses much as does a conventional implosion, generating a hot, low-density, inner-core plasma that exhausts out toward the tip of the cone. The hot, low-density inner core can impede the compaction of the cold fuel, lowering the implosion/burn efficiency and the gain, and jetting toward the cone tip can affect the cone integrity. Thicker initial fuel layers, lower velocity implosions, and drive asymmetries can lead to decreased efficiency in converting implosion kinetic energy into compression. Fast ignition burn hydrodynamics can generate additional convergence and compression. We describe 2-D and one-dimensional approaches to optimizing designs for cone-guided fast ignition.