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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.
C. A. Frederick, R. R. Paguio, A. Nikroo, J. H. Hund, O. Acennas, M. Thi
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 49 | Number 4 | May 2006 | Pages 657-662
Technical Paper | Target Fabrication | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST06-A1182
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Resorcinol Formaldehyde (R/F) foam has been used in the fabrication of direct drive shell targets for Inertial Fusion Confinement (ICF) experiments at the University of Rochester's Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE). Recent cryogenic experiments at LLE using R/F shells have shown the necessity of larger pore foam compared to the standard R/F formulation. In this paper, we report controlling the pore size of R/F foam with concomitant control of the gelation time, which is crucial for successful shell fabrication. The "standard" formulation, with pores of <100 nm, was modified by decreasing the base catalyst to resorcinol concentration ratio creating a large pore R/F foam (~ >0.5 m) through reaction limited aggregation. However, this formulation decreased the gelation time, which decreased the yield of shells with proper wall uniformity (~ 30%) to an unacceptable level of <1%. We developed a technique to achieve control over the gelation time, while keeping the large pore characteristics of R/F to improve shell non-uniformity and increasing the yield to an acceptable level. We also developed a new technique for large pore formation involving changes to the acid catalyst concentration. The effects of this new formulation on the wall uniformity of shells are discussed. The pore distributions obtained using these new R/F foams were characterized using a variety of techniques, including electron microscopy, nitrogen gas adsorption, visible spectroscopy, and small angle x-ray scattering and compared to the standard small pore formulation.