Photonuclear Alchemy: Obtaining Medical Isotopes of Gold from Mercury Irradiated on Electron Accelerators

Molecules. 2022 Aug 28;27(17):5532. doi: 10.3390/molecules27175532.


In our work, the photonuclear production of 198,199Au isotopes for nuclear medicine purposes was studied, and a method for their recovery from irradiated mercury was developed. The yields of the corresponding nuclear reactions were determined, and a comparison of various methods of obtaining gold radioisotopes was provided. New sorbents based on benzo-15-crown-5, which selectively binds gold, were studied, and the optimal conditions for Au recovery with a high degree of purification from mercury were found. It was established that, for the fast and quantitative recovery of Au isotopes, it was necessary to add at least 0.1 mg of the carrier. As a result, the developed method can be regularly used to obtain 198,199Au for the research of radiopharmaceuticals based on them.

Keywords: 198Au; 199Au; benzo-15-crown-5; extraction chromatography; nuclear medicine; photonuclear reactions; sorbents.

MeSH terms

  • Alchemy*
  • Electrons
  • Gold
  • Isotopes
  • Mercury*


  • Isotopes
  • Gold
  • Mercury