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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.
A. E. Costley
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 55 | Number 1 | January 2009 | Pages 1-15
Technical Paper | Electron Cyclotron Emission and Electron Cyclotron Resonance Heating | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST09-A4048
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Electron cyclotron emission (ECE) has been of interest in fusion research since the beginning, in the late 1950s, of the worldwide effort to realize fusion energy. The initial interest was in its contribution to the power loss, which under some conditions was predicted to be a possible impediment to achieving net power generation from fusion. The current interest centers on the use of measurements of the emission as a powerful means of determining the value of some of the main parameters of the plasma: Most modern tokamaks and stellarators are equipped with extensive ECE measurement systems. Creativity, surprises, debate, careful experimentation, and solid theoretical work characterize the path in between, which has not always been smooth but through the diagnostic applications has ultimately been very successful. In this paper, we trace that path by identifying and illustrating the main developments. We also take a brief look forward. The transport of energy due to ECE is expected to play a significant role in the burn dynamics of fusion plasmas, and this role is outlined. Measurements of ECE are expected to play an important role in the diagnosis of future fusion machines, like ITER, that will achieve thermonuclear conditions. There are significant benefits and challenges associated with making measurements of ECE on such plasmas, and these are briefly summarized.