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Nuclear Science and Engineering
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.
Y. Yasaka et al.
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 55 | Number 2 | February 2009 | Pages 1-8
Technical Paper | Seventh International Conference on Open Magnetic Systems for Plasma Confinement | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST09-A6974
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
A direct energy converter (DEC) designed for thermal ions escaping from a fusion reactor consists of a cusp magnetic field and one-or two-stage decelerating electrodes. In this CUSPDEC, magnetized electrons are deflected along the field lines of the cusp magnetic field to the line cusp region and collected by an electron collector, while weakly magnetized ions can traverse the separatrix and enter into the point cusp region. Thus, ions are separated from electrons, and flow into an ion collector to produce DC power. A normal cusp magnetic field enables us to separate electrons and ions for low energy electrons from a test plasma source, but not for electrons with much higher energies from the tandem mirror GAMMA10. The reason for this is found that the high energy electrons do not follow the field lines due to a high potential applied to the ion collector for ion deceleration. Use of a slanted cusp field has resolved the difficulty resulting in good separation. The efficiency of energy conversion of separated ions with wide spread in energy is ~55 % for a one-stage decelerating electrode. An additional lateral electrode, together with the existing collector, constitutes a two-stage ion collector that provides distributed ion-decelerating fields. The system has revealed improvement in efficiency. From the measured voltage-current characteristics, the efficiency of this two-stage collector is estimated to have a value of 65-70 % at an optimum condition.