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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. A. London, J. D. Moody, J. J. Sanchez, J. D. Sater, B. J. Haid, D. N. Bittner
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 49 | Number 4 | May 2006 | Pages 581-587
Technical Paper | Target Fabrication | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST06-A1171
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Cryogenic inertial confinement fusion targets at the National Ignition Facility and the Laser Megajoule will be protected from thermal infrared radiation by a cold shroud. As the shroud is removed just before the laser pulse, infrared radiation will heat and possibly degrade the symmetry of the solid hydrogen fuel layer. A lumped component mathematical model has been constructed to calculate how long an indirect drive target can be exposed to thermal radiation before the fuel layer degrades. The allowed exposure time sets the maximum shroud removal time and therefore has important implications for the design of the cryogenic shroud systems. The model predicts that the maximum exposure time is approximately 0.18 s for plastic capsules inside hohlraums with transparent laser entrance holes. By covering the laser entrance holes with a partially reflective coating, the exposure time can be increased to approximately 1 s. The exposure time can be increased to about 2 s by using beryllium capsules. Several other design concepts could increase the exposure time even further. Lengthening of the allowed exposure time to 1 s or longer could allow a significant cost savings for the shroud system.