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ISOL@MYRRHA impact in Nuclear Medecine


Medical applications

The wide variety of medical radioisotopes for both therapy and imaging are directly accessible at an ISOL facility. Most importantly, an ISOL facility provides a universal means to produce essentially all isotopes of medical interest practically carrier free and of high purity. Consequently, one can enable systematic biokinetic studies, simultaneously with different isotopes and different tracers. Besides the research for new and innovative medical radioisotopes, such isotopes can be systematically produced in very clean conditions with the extended beam times available at ISOL@MYRRHA.

Medical isotopes

Extraction and purification of radioactive isotopes from a target which is under irradiation by a proton beam is the typical way of implementing the ISOL technique for the production and use of radioactive isotopes in fundamental research. The use of this technique is especially important for the production of medical isotopes with relatively short half live (e.g. Tb-149).​

ISOL@MYRRHA will provide opportunities for extensive research studies in the field of radiopharmaceuticals development. The isotopic purity of the collected samples can be extremely high given the mass separation. Also, a controlled concentration of various isotopes of the same element can be reached with high precision, which makes the facility suitable for systematic studies on the effect of various specific activities in the final product. A controlled concentration of various impurities on the main isotopic sample will enable studies for the optimization of chemical-purification processing.​

Apart from simultaneous irradiation and extraction (online extraction), ISOL@MYRRHA allows as well to have the isotopes production and their extraction from the target/sample at different moments in time (off-line extraction and separation). This offers the possibility to make isotope collections of extremely high purity and high specific activities. Separating in time the moments for isotope production and extraction allows for example: ​

  • the use of sources produced by other methods which can have higher cross sections than those obtained at ISOL@MYRRHA, ​

  • the decay of unwanted short lived species, ​

  • the addition of an intermediate radiochemistry step for more efficient extraction of the isotopes.​

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