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Current Project

Analytical Chemistry Division (V)

Number: 2003-015-2-500

Title: Terminology, quantities and units concerning production and applications of radionuclides in radiopharmaceutical and radioanalytical chemistry

Task Group
Mauro L. Bonardi

Members: Zeev B. Alfassi, Vladimir P. Kolotov, Ren Iwata, Geerd J. Meyer, Piotr B. Robouch, David J. Schlyer, and Leonard I. Wiebe

The current issue of IUPAC Orange Book (1997) does not cover exhaustively the definition of several terms in radioanalytical, radiopharmaceutical, nuclear and radiochemistry and related topics; many terms should be improved and clarified. Radioanalytical techniques are of increasing relevance in the fields of labeled compounds and radiopharmaceuticals to be used in radiodiagnostics, metabolic radiotherapy, radioimmunotherapy.

1. Glossary of terms, quantities, units of radioactivity and related quantities and their definitions in SI of units (and other obsolete systems of units). Nuclide and radionuclide overview: nucleon properties, valley of beta stability, isotopes, isobars, isotones, isomers, isodiaspheres; nuclide properties: energy levels, parity, nuclear spin, decay schemes, common and exotic decay modes, binding energy, conservation laws, mass calculation, mass-energy conversion, decay Q value, recoils, theoretical specific activity. Laws of decay and growth of activity and number of atoms of nuclides, decay chains, radionuclide "generator" equations. Natural decay chains, actinoids, superactinoids, other artificial and natural radionuclides.

2. Radionuclide Production by accelerator, nuclear reactor, fast neutron generator. Features of cyclotron, LINAC and other accelerators, beam transport, targetry, target assembly, target cooling, solid, liquid, gas targets. Nuclear reaction terminology, energy threshold, Coulomb barrier, differential and average cross-section, excitation function, thin-target yield, thick-target yield, saturation yield. Fission, fission yield (as a function of mass number and atomic number), equations of growth and decay of activity during and after irradiation. Behavior of specific activity and activity concentration viz. flux density and time. Cold, thermal, epithermal, fast neutrons. Maxwell-Boltzmann equation of velocity, law of inverse velocity, resonances, Doppler broadening. Thermal and fast reactors, reactor breeders. Photonuclear reactions.

3. Radioanalytical and Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry laboratories: hoods, hot cells, master-slave manipulators, lead shielding, Pb-glass, glove-boxes, chemical and radiation protection features, remote controlled and robotic systems, decontamination, air filtering. Radiochemical processing of irradiated targets and radionuclides: radiochemical methods, procedures and chemical-physical laws of precipitation, co-precipitation, co-crystallization, termochromatography, electrodeposition, solid-phase extraction, liquid-liquid extraction, back-extraction, wet distillation, dry distillation, gas-phase absorption, phase partition, solid-phase extraction.

4. Analytical and Radioanalytical techniques and features: adsorption, physisorption, chemisorption, adsorption isotherms, colloids, and pseudocolloids, distribution coefficients. Labeling methods: isotopic exchange, nucleophilic substitution, electrophilic addition and substitution, recoil labeling, in-beam chemistry, hot-atom chemistry. Hard-soft acid-base theory, equilibrium and kinetic constants. Biodistribution kinetics, biodistribution constants, LogP, uptake and clearance of labeled compounds in animal tissues/organs, fundamental of compartment theory. Specific receptors, specific binding, non-specific binding, specificity, selectivity.

5. Quality Control of Radionuclides and Labeled Compounds: Definitions: concept and definition of carrier (isotopic, non-isotopic, hold-back, isomorphous, iso-dimorphous). Concepts related to radionuclide and/or labeled compound: carrier-added, no-carrier-added, carrier-free, isotopic dilution factor. Radionuclic purity, radiochemical purity, chemical purity, biological purity, specific activity (molar). Analytical and radioanalytical techniques: radiochromatography, radioelectrophoresis. Elemental analysis: Nuclear analytical methods. Spectrochemical methods. Cherenkov counting. On-line and off-line detectors and spectrometries. Radiation metrology: counting statistics and nuclear data analysis.

6. Interaction of radiation with matter: gamma and X rays, electrons, positrons, alpha particles, light ions, heavy ions. Photon cross-sections, stopping power and range of electrons and ions in matter (theory and computer codes). Specific power dissipation (thermal conduction, convention, irradiation). Radiation detectors: scintillation detectors, semiconductor detectors, gas detectors, liquid scintillation counting, alpha, beta, gamma spectrometry, ionization chambers (dose calibrators), others. Efficiency and energy resolution. Calibration. Radiation protection: shielding, dosimetry (obsolete units, conversion factors).

7. Fields of application: radiodiagnostics by direct techniques (gamma camera, SPECT and PET), radiodiagnostics by combined techniques (CT, PET-CT, fNMRI, fusion imaging). Metabolic radiotherapy with radiopharmaceutical compounds, immunoradiotherapy with beta, Auger and alpha emitters. Targeted radiotherapy. In-vivo short-lived radionuclide generators.

8. Exhaustive and updated list of literature, nuclear databases and international/national electronic links.

The project is progessing according to plan, and completion is expected for 2006.
In November 2004, M.L. Bonardi was invited to present the Project at the Winter Meeting of the American Nuclear Society, Washington DC, Nov 13-18, 2004 <www.ANS.org>
> Nov 2004 report update (pdf file - 15KB)

> May 2006 report update (pdf file - 18KB)


Of relevance to this project topic, a feature titled 'Radianuclides and Radiachemistry: Their Role in Society' has been published in Chem Int. Nov 2007. Part II published in Chem Int. Jan 2008 focusses on the terminology in nuclear processes.

Last Update: 4 February 2008


<project announcement published in Chem. Int. 26(3), p. 23>

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Page last modified 4 February 2008.
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