skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Radio-isotope production scale-up at the University of Wisconsin

Our intent has been to scale up our production capacity for a subset of the NSAC-I list of radioisotopes in jeopardy, so as to make a significant impact on the projected national needs for Cu-64, Zr-89, Y-86, Ga-66, Br-76, I-124 and other radioisotopes that offer promise as PET synthons. The work-flow and milestones in this project have been compressed into a single year (Aug 1, 2012- July 31, 2013). The grant budget was virtually dominated by the purchase of a pair of dual-mini-cells that have made the scale-up possible, now permitting the Curie-level processing of Cu-64 and Zr-89 with greatly reduced radiation exposure. Mile stones: 1. We doubled our production of Cu-64 and Zr-89 during the grant period, both for local use and out-bound distribution to ≈ 30 labs nationwide. This involved the dove-tailing of beam schedules of both our PETtrace and legacy RDS cyclotron. 2. Implemented improved chemical separation of Zr-89, Ga-66, Y-86 and Sc-44, with remote, semi-automated dissolution, trap-and-release separation under LabView control in the two dual-mini-cells provided by this DOE grant. A key advance was to fit the chemical stream with miniature radiation detectors to confirm the transfer operations. 3. Implemented improved shipping of radioisotopes (Cu-64, Zr-89,more » Tc-95m, and Ho-163) with approved DOT 7A boxes, with a much-improved FedEx shipping success compared to our previous steel drums. 4. Implemented broad range quantitative trace metal analysis, employing a new microwave plasma atomic emission spectrometer (Agilent 4200) capable of ppb sensitivity across the periodic table. This new instrument will prove essential in bringing our radiometals into FDA compliance needing CoA’s for translational research in clinical trials. 5. Expanded our capabilities in target fabrication, with the purchase of a programmable 1600 oC inert gas tube furnace for the smelting of binary alloy target materials. A similar effort makes use of our RF induction furnace, allowing small scale metallurgy with greater control. This alloy feedstock was then used to electroplate cyclotron targets with elevated melting temperatures capable of withstanding higher beam currents. 6. Finished the beam-line developments needed for the irradiation of low-melting target materials (Se and Ga) now being used for the production of Br-76, and radioactive germanium (68, 69, 71Ge). Our planned development of I-124 production has been deferred, given the wide access from commercial suppliers. The passing of these milestones has been the subject of the previous quarterly reports. These signature accomplishments were made possible by the DOE support, and have strengthened the infrastructure at the University of Wisconsin, provided the training ground for a very talented graduate research assistant (Mr. Valdovinos) and more than doubled our out-shipments of Cu-64 and Zr-89.« less
  1. Univ of Wisconsin
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
MSN 149063; 144 PRJ 64MT
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
62 RADIOLOGY AND NUCLEAR MEDICINE radio-isotope production, PET, cyclotron