Astatine-211 is a short-lived alpha-emitting isotope with a half-life of 7.2 hours. It is used for targeted alpha particle therapy in cancer treatment. It is a particularly useful alpha-emitter because 100% of its decays result in alpha particles. Astatine-211's versatile chemistry allows for a variety of radiotherapeutic compounds to be synthesized.
PNNL is teamed with the University of Washington on a DOE Isotope Program research grant to develop an automated process for purifying As-211 from bismuth targets irradiated at the University of Washington Cyclotron. The University of Washington is currently a supplier of As-211 for the DOE Isotope Program. Automation of the process will decrease the time required for separations and purification of the product. At-211 is available from the University of Washington by requesting this material through the National Isotope Development Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.