Membrane-based devices for medical isotope purification

C.E. Duval
Case Western Reserve University,
United States

Keywords: membranes, isotope purification, AC-225


Ac-225 is a promising isotope for targeted alpha therapy (TAT, a personalized cancer treatment) that has shown excellent patient outcomes by avoiding whole body doses of radiation while successfully treating otherwise pervasive cancers. To date, all 225Ac used in domestic clinical trials was harvested from legacy nuclear waste at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This legacy supply of 225Ac is so limited that only 1 in 5,500 people who qualify are able to receive treatment. To produce clinically relevant quantities of 225Ac and other TATs, nuclear physicists must develop new production routes in accelerators or cyclotrons and separation scientists must develop rapid, scalable purification processes. Resin-based extractive chromatography has long been the workhorse for medical isotope purification and while these separation materials perform well in bench-scale purification schemes—they cannot be scaled-up for large scale production. In this talk, we discuss the limitations of the current state-of-the-art production and purification processes for medical isotopes. Then, we will present our group’s efforts to synthesize membrane adsorbers—a scalable, high-throughput alternative to extractive resins for the purification of accelerator-produced 225Ac.