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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.
M. Borghesi, J. Fuchs, S. V. Bulanov, A. J. MacKinnon, P. K. Patel, M. Roth
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 49 | Number 3 | April 2006 | Pages 412-439
Technical Paper | Fast Ignition | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST06-A1159
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The acceleration of high-energy ion beams (up to several tens of mega-electron-volts per nucleon) following the interaction of short (t < 1 ps) and intense (I2 > 1018 Wcm-2m-2) laser pulses with solid targets has been one of the most active areas of research in the last few years. The exceptional properties of these beams (high brightness and high spectral cutoff, high directionality and laminarity, and short burst duration) distinguish them from the lower-energy ions accelerated in earlier experiments at moderate laser intensities. In view of these properties, laser-driven ion beams can be employed in a number of groundbreaking applications in the scientific, technological, and medical areas. This paper reviews the main experimental results obtained in this area in recent years, the properties of the accelerated beams, the relevant theoretical and computational models, and the main applications that have been implemented or proposed.