Comparative studies of extraction chromatography and electro-amalgamation separation to produce no-carrier added 177Lu by Tehran research reactor

Document Type: Original Article


1 Faculty of Energy Engineering and Physics, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

2 Nuclear Fuel Cycle Research School, Nuclear Science and Technology Research Institute, Tehran, Iran


Introduction:Owing to its favorable radionuclidic characteristics, such as tl/2 = 6.73 day and Eβ (max) = 497 keV and ease of its large-scale production using medium flux research reactors, lutetium-177 (177Lu) is an attractive radionuclide for various therapeutic applications. No carrier added (NCA) 177Lu was obtained by thermal neutron bombardment (4×1013n/cm2.s) of 176Yb target through 176Yb(n, γ)177Yb        177Lu process have the advantage of preparing radiopharmaceuticals with high specific activity. So the existence of an effective Lu/Yb separation method is critical.
Methods: Many researchers illustrated no-carrier added 177Lu production. However, the present study is based on comparison between two potential separation methods, namely extraction chromatography and electro-amalgamation separation with respect to separation yield and radiochemical characteristics.
Results: The no carrier added 177Lu separated from 176Yb target by two extraction chromatography and electro-amalgamation separation methods. The effective parameters on separation Lu/Yb were investigated in two procedures. The 177Lu production yield by extraction chromatography and electro-amalgamation procedures were 82% and 88.83% respectively. The no carrier added 177Lu was obtained with radionuclidic purity of 99.99%   in two separation methods.

Conclusion: Although both separation methods have exhibited promising feature, the study reveals that electro-amalgamation separation offers the advantages of higher yield of 177Lu, simplicity and easier to operate for large amount of target and less overall processing time.


Main Subjects

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