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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.
J. T. Bousquet, J. F. Hund, D. T. Goodin, N. B. Alexander
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 55 | Number 4 | May 2009 | Pages 446-449
Technical Paper | Eighteenth Target Fabrication Specialists' Meeting | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST55-446
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The horizontal rotary glow discharge polymer (GDP) coater is being developed to help increase the production rate of inertial confinement fusion targets and to meet the very high production rates needed for inertial fusion energy targets. The coater is used to put a conformal GDP gas retention coating on top of foam shell targets. A number of alterations to the design and operation of the horizontal rotary GDP coater are discussed. Compared to previous iterations of the horizontal coater, the changes have resulted in improving the yield of gas retentive targets with thinner coatings and increasing the coating rate, smoothness, and uniformity. The number of targets that can be coated at once has increased from tens to hundreds, or even thousands. The alterations include changing the coating tube configuration; adjusting the coating pressures; and altering the radio-frequency power, gas flow rates, and tube rotation rates. Methods to further improve the coater are also discussed.