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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.
F. Sandras, C. Hermerel, A. Choux, P. Mérillot, G. Pin, L. Jeannot
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 55 | Number 4 | May 2009 | Pages 389-398
Technical Paper | Eighteenth Target Fabrication Specialists' Meeting | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST09-A7416
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
To characterize the shape, the quality, and the roughness of microshells, typically used technologies are scanning electron microscopy, scanning interferometric microscopy, or atomic force microscopy. One of the drawbacks of these techniques is that they are generally slow because of their scanning process. Digital holographic microscopy technology is an innovation that can offer ability adapted to these studies. It captures holograms instead of intensity images, as done by conventional microscopes. The holograms are then digitally interpreted (10 per second) to reconstruct a double image, one for the intensity and another one for the phase. Using a rotation axis, the bump counting for the complete microshell surface is possible with a very high speed. Using an image stitching software, mapping can be done in a few minutes. Wavelets such as "Mexican hat" are used to model the bumps. Each bump can then be characterized on the map by its position, diameter, and height.