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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. R. Paguio, S. P. Paguio, C. A. Frederick, A. Nikroo, O. Acenas
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 49 | Number 4 | May 2006 | Pages 743-749
Technical Paper | Target Fabrication | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST06-A1195
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Poly(-methylstyrene) (PAMS) shells are made by microencapsulation and used in the fabrication of a large variety of targets for the inertial confinement fusion (ICF) program. Although this process has previously been developed into production mode, the yield of shells with acceptable sphericity and wall uniformity in the OMEGA size range (800-1000 m) has been poor (~ 18%). We have made improvements in the yield of these shells by modifying the composition of the outer water solution (W2) in the microencapsulation emulsion. This improvement was achieved by increasing the concentration of Poly Vinyl Alcohol (PVA) from 0.3% to 1.0% and an addition of 0.1% Poly Acrylic Acid (PAA). These modifications were aimed at increasing the interfacial surface tension in the emulsion but also appear to have played a role in density matching the components in the PAMS emulsion. These modifications improved the out of round (OOR) and non-concentricity (NC) of the PAMS mandrels resulting in as increase in the yield of target quality batches based on these basic criteria from 18% to over 80%. Meanwhile, the vacuole content and the surface finish of the PAMS shells were not adversely affected by these changes.