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Design study of an innovative high-intensity industrial cyclotron for production of Tc-99m and other frontier medical radioisotopes

Descrizione del progetto

Studio di progettazione di un ciclotrone ad alta intensità per la produzione di radioisotopi medici

Il Tecnezio-99m (99mTc) è un radioisotopo metastabile utilizzato in innumerevoli procedure diagnostiche mediche. Oggi viene quasi esclusivamente prodotto in pochi reattori di ricerca datati in tutto il mondo. I radiofarmaci basati su 99mTc vengono applicati negli studi di imaging e funzionali di cervello, miocardio, tiroide, polmoni, fegato, cistifellea, reni, scheletro, sangue e vari tumori. A seconda della procedura, il 99mTc si associa a un composto che lo trasporta nella sua posizione di destinazione. La produzione diretta di 99mTc mediante ciclotroni protonici è l’approccio più promettente per aumentarne la disponibilità, ma la sfida principale è la progettazione di un apparato compatto ad alta intensità denominato «ciclotrone autoestraente» (SEC, Self-Extracting Cyclotron). Il progetto InnovaTron, finanziato dall’UE, migliorerà il design del magnete e l’ottica del fascio del SEC sulla base di nuove soluzioni tecnologiche.

Obiettivo

Tc99m is the most widely used isotope in nuclear medicine. Production is almost exclusively done with a few ageing research reactors worldwide. Recent shutdowns of some those reactors have resulted in a worldwide Tc99m shortage. Europe is affected, because it is the second largest consumer of Tc99m worldwide. In response to growing concerns about Tc99m availability and the increasing demand in medicine, alternative production routes are being explored in the community. Direct production by proton cyclotrons looks the most promising solution. Cyclotrons offer several advantages, one of them being the possibility for local production, as is done for other commonly used medical isotopes. Large-scale production of Tc99m requires high proton beam intensities. InnovaTron focuses on a cutting-edge research project in accelerator design. The key challenge is the design of an innovative compact high-intensity cyclotron, named ‘self-extracting cyclotron’. In this machine, the proton beams exit without using an extraction device. Such devices usually prevent the extraction of high beam currents as would be needed for Tc99m production. A prototype machine was built by the company IBA around the year 2000. Self-extraction was successfully proven by extracting a current close to 2 mA. However, rather poor beam quality was observed resulting in too high machine activation and a maximum extraction efficiency not larger than 80%. This was encouraging but not yet good enough for industrial applications. InnovaTron will improve the magnet design and the beam-optics of the self-extracting cyclotron based on new technological solutions. It will be realized using high-level computer-aided design and beam physics studies. Key goals are: i) high currents up to 10 mA or more, ii) extraction efficiency higher than 95%, iii) beam quality at least a factor three better than the prototype.
This cyclotron will allow production of high quantities of Tc99m and other frontier medical isotopes.

Coordinatore

ION BEAM APPLICATIONS SA
Contribution nette de l'UE
€ 166 320,00
Indirizzo
CHEMIN DU CYCLOTRON 3
1348 Ottignies Louvain La Neuve
Belgio

Mostra sulla mappa

Regione
Région wallonne Prov. Brabant Wallon Arr. Nivelles
Tipo di attività
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Collegamenti
Costo totale
€ 166 320,00