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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.
Warren H. Giedt, Jorge J. Sanchez, Thomas P. Bernat
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 49 | Number 4 | May 2006 | Pages 588-599
Technical Paper | Target Fabrication | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST06-A1172
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The influence of capsule wall material and the transfer gas surrounding the capsule on the time required for beta-heating-induced redistribution of a 50-50 mole percent mixture of deuterium and tritium (DT) in a spherical capsule are investigated analytically and numerically. The derivation of an analytical solution for the redistribution time in a one-dimensional binary diffusion model, which includes the thermal resistance of the capsule, is first described. This result shows that the redistribution time for a high conductivity capsule wall is approximately doubled after 8 days of 3He formation. In contrast, with a low thermal conductivity capsule wall (e.g., polyimide), the redistribution time would increase by less than 10%The substantial effect of the capsule wall resistance suggested that the resistance to heat transfer from the capsule through the surrounding transfer gas to the hohlraum wall would also influence the redistribution process. This was investigated with a spherical model, which was based on accounting for energy transfer by diffusion with a conduction heat transfer approximation. This made it possible to solve for the continuous temperature distribution throughout the capsule and surrounding gas. As with the capsule the redistribution times depended on the relative values of the thermal resistances of the vapor in the capsule and the transfer gas. With increasing vapor thermal resistance (increased concentration of 3He) redistributions times for hydrocarbon capsules were less than the minimum one-dimensional value of 27 minutes. Further analytical and experimental investigation of the thermal interaction between the capsule and hohlraum is recommended.