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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.
E. H. Lundgren, A. C. Forsman
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 55 | Number 3 | April 2009 | Pages 325-330
Technical Paper | Eighteenth Target Fabrication Specialists' Meeting | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST09-A6958
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A variety of shaped fill holes is needed in beryllium capsules for inertial confinement fusion experiments to allow for pyrolysis of the plastic (CH) mandrels, deuterium (D2) or deuterium-tritium gas fill, and fill tube attachments. The holes required include through-holes ranging in diameters from ~5 to 30 m and counterbores ranging in diameters from ~13 to 17 m with depths <37 m. These holes are laser drilled using a double-pulse nanosecond format. Hole diameter and depth can be controlled by altering pulse format, energy, and beam delivery optics. Furthermore, according to National Ignition Campaign specifications, there is a tight tolerance for perturbations on capsule surfaces, so we have developed a technique to eliminate material redeposition through the use of sacrificial foils stretched over the targeted areas.