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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.
S. A. Eddinger, H. Huang, M. E. Schoff
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 55 | Number 4 | May 2009 | Pages 411-416
Technical Paper | Eighteenth Target Fabrication Specialists' Meeting | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST55-411
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The inertial confinement fusion program requires the uniformity of multilayered samples to be measured to high accuracy. We currently use a reflection spectroscopy tool to measure optically transparent shells with no more than two layers. The method cannot measure opaque samples such as beryllium shells, low-reflection samples such as foam shells, or any shells with more than two layers such as National Ignition Facility specification Ge-CH shells. We also use a white-light interferometer to measure transparent samples with multiple layers, but only at the North/South Poles for a given orientation. To complement these existing tools, we developed an X-ray technique based on a commercial X-ray microscope (Xradia MicroXCT). MicroXCT is capable of providing high-contrast, high-resolution images and allows the samples to be precision aligned and angular indexed. Dimension accuracy is achieved through the calibration of the projection magnification and the lens distortion. From each X-ray image, a wall thickness trace along the great circle is obtained by converting Cartesian coordinates into cylindrical coordinates, and edge-finding algorithms are developed for a contact radiography project. Three-dimensional reconstruction and wall thickness display allow the visualization of the sample nonuniformity. The method has a 0.3 m measurement precision and, through phase contrast calibration, can achieve 0.3 m accuracy.