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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. W. Haan, M. C. Herrmann, P. A. Amendt, D. A. Callahan, T. R. Dittrich, M. J. Edwards, O. S. Jones, M. M. Marinak, D. H. Munro, S. M. Pollaine, J. D. Salmonson, B. K. Spears, L. J. Suter
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 49 | Number 4 | May 2006 | Pages 553-557
Technical Paper | Target Fabrication | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST49-553
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Targets intended to produce ignition on NIF are being simulated and the simulations are used to set specifications for target fabrication. Recent design work has focused on designs that assume only 1.0 MJ of laser energy instead of the previous 1.6 MJ. To perform with less laser energy, the hohlraum has been redesigned to be more efficient than previously, and the capsules are slightly smaller. The main-line hohlraum design now has a SiO2 foam fill, a wall of U-Dy-Au, and shields mounted between the capsule and the laser entrance holes. Two capsule designs are being considered. One has a layered Cu-doped Be ablator, and the other layered Ge-doped CH. Both can perform acceptably with recently demonstrated ice layer quality, and with recently demonstrated outer surface roughness. Smoothness of the internal interfaces may be an issue for the Be(Cu) design, and it may be necessary either to polish partially coated shells or to improve process control so that the internal layers are smoother. Complete tables of specifications are being prepared for both targets, to be completed this fiscal year. All the specifications are being rolled together into an error budget indicating adequate margin for ignition with the new designs.