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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.
Roger A. Vesey, Robert B. Campbell, Stephen A. Slutz, David L. Hanson, Michael E. Cuneo, Thomas A. Mehlhorn, John L. Porter
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 49 | Number 3 | April 2006 | Pages 384-398
Technical Paper | Fast Ignition | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST06-A1157
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Fast ignition using pulsed-power drivers combines the efficient production of X-rays to drive fusion fuel assembly with precise ultraintense laser pulses for fuel ignition. Z-pinches convert electrical energy into thermal X-ray energy with high efficiency, which makes them attractive drivers for indirect-drive fuel assembly. Currently, experiments use the Z-pinch vacuum hohlraum, in which the Z-pinch heats a hohlraum that reemits thermal X-rays to drive the capsule. Surface-guided hemispherical capsule implosion experiments in Z-pinch vacuum hohlraums are in progress to study energetics, symmetry control, and pulse shaping. Simulations including radiation asymmetry and glide-plane physics have been performed to optimize the imploded fuel. Higher density capsule implosions at a given driver energy may be possible using the Z-pinch dynamic hohlraum, in which the Z-pinch plasma itself creates the hohlraum. Capsule and hohlraum designs for both vacuum and dynamic hohlraum sources are in progress, including liquid cryogenic fuel capsules. Analytic models for D-T fuel heating and burn have been developed for scoping purposes and breakeven scaling. Implicit particle-in-cell modeling of the interaction of laser-produced energetic particles with calculated fuel configurations demonstrates that details of the entire fuel/glide material density profile significantly affect the calculated energy deposition and thus the ignition requirements.