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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.
Robert C. Cook, Stephan A. Letts, Steven R. Buckley, Evelyn Fearon
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 49 | Number 4 | May 2006 | Pages 802-808
Technical Paper | Target Fabrication | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST06-A1204
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
An engineering model is presented for the removal of the plastic mandrel from the inside of a sputtered Be shell. The removal is accomplished by forcing heated air in and out of the 4 to 5 m laser drilled fill hole in the capsule wall by cycling the external pressure between 2 and 5 atm. The plastic is combusted to CO2 and H2O by this exposure, thus removing the mandrel. Calculations are presented to evaluate the various parameters in the approach. Experimental confirmation of the effectiveness of the removal is shown.