Radioisotope astatine-211 is produced by bombarding bismuth in a particle accelerator, or cyclotron. Photo Credit: UW Research Scientist Don Hamlin
The Department of Energy’s University Isotope Network aims to facilitate more widespread shipment of short-lived isotopes. One such isotope, astatine-211, is showing promise at the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center.
User Group Schedule
The DOE IP will host four virtual isotope user meetings focused on the following emerging alpha-emitters: actinium-225, astatine-211, lead-203/212, and new this year, cerium-134.
Student in lab
Students will conduct research and technical projects at DOE national laboratories

DOE Isotope Program Highlights

Image courtesy of Texas A&M University The medical radioisotope astatine is separated from bismuth then loaded into a resin column. Once dry, the column is packed for shipping so the astatine can be sent for use at a cancer treatment center.

Cancer Countermeasures on a Column

University researchers produce a novel method of shipping the promising medical isotope astatine-211
Image courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Army Research Laboratory. Direct deposition of a radioisotope source onto a converter. This can improve conversion of the radioisotope source’s beta decay emissions to electricity by using two converters instead of one. The result is greater power density for the power source.

New Approach to Radioisotope Power Sources for Improved Efficiency, Long Life

NextGen power sources may satisfy the need for long-term, compact power for use in remote or extreme environments.
Image courtesy of Carlos Jones, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Researcher Sandra Davern looks at non-radioactive metal ions enclosed in biodegradable polymers in her lab at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Her work is paving the way for enclosing isotopes in the same polymers for targeted treatment of cancer cells.

Enclosing Radiation-Loaded Particles to Better Seek and Destroy Cancer

Promising study details how radioactive agents could be sent directly to cancer cells.
Image courtesy of Jon Burns, Texas A&M University At-211 – ketone interaction within the chromatography column.

New Elegant Method for Rapid Recovery of Anti-Cancer Agent At-211

A high-speed, high-yield recovery approach for At-211 means improved availability of this cancer-treating isotope.