A simple and selective method for the separation of Cu radioisotopes from nickel

Xianfeng Fan*, David J. Parker, Mike D. Smith, Andy Ingram, Zhufang Yang, Jonathan P.K. Seville

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Separation of copper radioisotopes from a nickel target is normally performed using solvent extraction or anion exchange rather than using cationic exchange. A commonly held opinion is that cationic exchangers have very similar thermodynamic complexation constants for metallic ions with identical charges, therefore making the separation very difficult or impossible. The results presented in this article indicate that the selectivity of Chelex-100 (a cationic ion exchanger) for Cu radioisotope and Ni ions not only depends on the thermodynamic complexation constant in the resin but also markedly varies with the concentration of mobile H+. In our developed method, separation of copper radioisotopes from a nickel target was fulfilled in a column filled with Chelex-100 via controlling the HNO3 concentration of the eluent, and the separation is much more effective, simple and economical in comparison with the common method of anion exchange. For an irradiated nickel target with 650 mg Ni, after separation, the loss of Cu radioisotopes in the nickel portion was reduced from 30% to 0.33% of the total initial radioactivity and the nickel mixed into the radioactive products was reduced from 9.5 to 0.5 mg. This significant improvement will make subsequent labeling much easier and reduce consumption of chelating agents and other chemicals during labeling. If the labeled agent is used in human medical applications, the developed method will significantly decrease the uptake of Ni and chelating agents by patients, therefore reducing both the stress on human body associated with clearing the chemicals from blood and tissue and the risk of various types of acute and chronic disorder due to exposure to Ni.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)939-944
Number of pages6
JournalNuclear Medicine and Biology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2006

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Chelex-100
  • Copper radioisotopes
  • Ion exchange
  • Nickel
  • Purification


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