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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.
H. Xu, A. Nikroo, J. R. Wall, R. Doerner, M. Baldwin, J. H. Yu
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 49 | Number 4 | May 2006 | Pages 778-785
Technical Paper | Target Fabrication | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST06-A1201
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Beryllium is one of the preferred ablators for achieving ignition in inertial confinement fusion (ICF). Thin and thick coatings of Be on CH shells have been deposited using a sputter coater established at UCSD's PISCES facility and examined using a variety of characterization techniques. Due to the spherical nature of these substrates, shadowing effects are expected to play significant roles in film growth as well as the expected surface diffusion length of deposited atoms. Be coatings on flat surfaces and spherical surfaces have been deposited and compared to understand the material growth behaviors on different surfaces and as a function of processing parameters. On flat surfaces, Be film developed polycrystalline morphology with columnar growth. On spherical surfaces, Be film also showed columnar growth at lower powers, which then transitioned into a twisted grain structure at higher powers. Cycling of parameters has been used to investigate possible grain growth interruption during growth and improving morphology. Initial results also suggest that copper doping during deposition does not change the columnar growth morphology. Measurements of the surface roughness of beryllium-coated shells indicate roughness growth proportional to the thickness with an exponent of 0.8 to 1.2, which is consistent with shadowing dominated roughening. As ion-beam-assisted growth may improve the surface finish and micro-structure of deposited films, we have also studied the effect of process parameters on the flux and energy of the ions reaching the substrates using an offline energy dispersive mass spectrometer system.