Methods of increasing the performance of radionuclide generators used in nuclear medicine: daughter nuclide build-up optimisation, elution-purification-concentration integration, and effective control of radionuclidic purity

Molecules. 2014 Jun 10;19(6):7714-56. doi: 10.3390/molecules19067714.


Methods of increasing the performance of radionuclide generators used in nuclear medicine radiotherapy and SPECT/PET imaging were developed and detailed for 99Mo/99mTc and 68Ge/68Ga radionuclide generators as the cases. Optimisation methods of the daughter nuclide build-up versus stand-by time and/or specific activity using mean progress functions were developed for increasing the performance of radionuclide generators. As a result of this optimisation, the separation of the daughter nuclide from its parent one should be performed at a defined optimal time to avoid the deterioration in specific activity of the daughter nuclide and wasting stand-by time of the generator, while the daughter nuclide yield is maintained to a reasonably high extent. A new characteristic parameter of the formation-decay kinetics of parent/daughter nuclide system was found and effectively used in the practice of the generator production and utilisation. A method of "early elution schedule" was also developed for increasing the daughter nuclide production yield and specific radioactivity, thus saving the cost of the generator and improving the quality of the daughter radionuclide solution. These newly developed optimisation methods in combination with an integrated elution-purification-concentration system of radionuclide generators recently developed is the most suitable way to operate the generator effectively on the basis of economic use and improvement of purposely suitable quality and specific activity of the produced daughter radionuclides. All these features benefit the economic use of the generator, the improved quality of labelling/scan, and the lowered cost of nuclear medicine procedure. Besides, a new method of quality control protocol set-up for post-delivery test of radionuclidic purity has been developed based on the relationship between gamma ray spectrometric detection limit, required limit of impure radionuclide activity and its measurement certainty with respect to optimising decay/measurement time and product sample activity used for QC quality control. The optimisation ensures a certainty of measurement of the specific impure radionuclide and avoids wasting the useful amount of valuable purified/concentrated daughter nuclide product. This process is important for the spectrometric measurement of very low activity of impure radionuclide contamination in the radioisotope products of much higher activity used in medical imaging and targeted radiotherapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Nuclear Medicine*
  • Quality Control
  • Radionuclide Generators*