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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.
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 53 | Number 2 | February 2008 | Pages 278-287
Technical Paper | Edge Physics and Plasma-Wall Interactions | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST08-A1713
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The first wall and the divertor in present-day or next step thermonuclear fusion devices are exposed to intense fluxes of charged and neutral particles, in addition the plasma facing materials and components are subjected to radiation in a wide spectral range. These processes, in general referred to as 'plasma wall interaction' will have strong influence on the plasma performance, and moreover, they have major impact on the degradation and on the lifetime of the plasma facing armour and the joining interface between the plasma facing material and the heat sink. Beside physical and chemical sputtering processes, thermal fatigue damage due to cyclic heat fluxes during normal operation and intense thermal shocks caused by severe thermal transients are of serious concern for the engineers which develop reliable wall components. In addition, the material and component degradation due to high fluxes of energetic neutrons is another critical issue in D-T-burning fusion devices which requires further extensive research activities. This paper represents a tutorial focussed on the development and characterization of plasma facing components for thermonuclear fusion devices.