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Routine Production of 89Zr Using an Automated Module

Author(s): A. Lake Wooten | Evelyn Madrid | Gordon D. Schweitzer | Luke A. Lawrence | Efrem Mebrahtu | Benjamin C. Lewis | Suzanne E. Lapi

Journal: Applied Sciences
ISSN 2076-3417

Volume: 3;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 593;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: 89Zr | isotope production | automation | cyclotron | positron emission tomography

89Zr has emerged as a useful radioisotope for targeted molecular imaging via positron emission tomography (PET) in both animal models and humans. This isotope is particularly attractive for cancer research because its half-life (t1/2 = 3.27 days) is well-suited for in vivo targeting of macromolecules and nanoparticles to cell surface antigens expressed by cancer cells. Furthermore, 89Zr emits a low-energy positron (Eβ+,mean = 0.40 MeV), which is favorable for high spatial resolution in PET, with an adequate branching ratio for positron emission (BR = 23%). The demand for 89Zr for research purposes is increasing; however, 89Zr also emits significant gamma radiation (Γ15 keV = 6.6 R×cm2/mCi×h), which makes producing large amounts of this isotope by hand unrealistic from a radiation safety standpoint. Fortunately, a straightforward method exists for production of 89Zr by bombarding a natural Y target in a biomedical cyclotron and then separation of 89Zr from the target material by column chromatography. The chemical separation in this method lends itself to remote processing using an automated module placed inside a hot cell. In this work, we have designed, built and commissioned a module that has performed the chemical separation of 89Zr safely and routinely, at activities in excess of 50 mCi, with radionuclidic purity > 99.9% and satisfactory effective specific activity (ESA).
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