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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.
J. S. Jaquez, E. L. Alfonso, A. Nikroo
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 49 | Number 4 | May 2006 | Pages 768-772
Technical Paper | Target Fabrication | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST06-A1199
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
We have successfully sputter deposited 2 m thick layers of SiO2 on CH mandrels ~ 2 mm in diameter to act as a permeation barrier for deuterium. Such targets can be used for experiments at Sandia's Z facility as well as at the National Ignition Facility (NIF). This permeation barrier has been shown to have a half-life (1/2) of ~2-4 weeks for a thickness of ~ 1.5 m. The sputter coating conditions have been successfully optimized to produce smooth uniform SiO2 coatings with enough integrity to allow routine handling as well as filling to the required pressures (20 atm). The key coating conditions investigated were the agitation mechanism and the coating pressure. We found that an agitation mechanism using gentle rolling produced coatings with a half-life of greater than three weeks, whereas a more vigorous bouncing agitation yielded half-lives of only a few days. Coating pressures of 2, 5, and 10 mTorr were studied and it was found that coatings at 5 mTorr produced coatings free of cracking. Since the sputtering is performed in a background atmosphere of argon, the sputtered SiO2 layer was found to contain trace amounts of argon as measured by x-ray fluorescence (XRF) measurements. Our work has yielded a controllable uniform alternative permeation barrier to the traditionally used poly(vinylalcohol) (PVA).