Title:
Adsorbents for Radioisotopes, Preparation Method Thereof, and Radioisotope Generators Using the Same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed is a novel adsorbent for use in a 99Mo/99mTc generator, which is a medical diagnostic radioisotope generator, and in a 188W/188Re generator, which is a therapeutic radioisotope generator. The adsorbent composed of sulfated alumina or alumina-sulfated zirconia exhibits adsorption capacity superior to that of conventional adsorbents, and is stable and is thus loaded in a dry state in an adsorption column so that the radioisotope 99Mo or 188W can be adsorbed. Thus, it is possible to miniaturize the column, and such a miniaturized column is small, convenient to use, and highly efficient, and extracts a radioisotope satisfying the requirements for pharmaceuticals, and thus can be useful for radioisotope generators extracting 99mTc or 188Re.



Inventors:
Lee, Jun Sig (DAEJEON, KR)
Han, Hyon Soo (DAEJEON, KR)
Park, Ul Jae (DAEJEON, KR)
Son, Kwang Jae (DAEJEON, KR)
Shin, Hyeon Young (DAEJEON, KR)
Hong, Soon Bog (DAEJEON, KR)
Jang, Kang Duk (DAEJEON, KR)
Lee, Jong Sub (DAEJEON, KR)
Application Number:
12/117353
Publication Date:
11/12/2009
Filing Date:
05/08/2008
Assignee:
KOREA ATOMIC ENERGY RESEARCH INSTITUTE (DAEJEON, KR)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
423/518, 423/556, 423/600, 423/625, 423/626
International Classes:
C01F7/74; B01D39/20; C01F7/02; C01G25/02; C01G25/06
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
QIAN, YUN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LUCAS & MERCANTI, LLP (475 PARK AVENUE SOUTH, 15TH FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY, 10016, US)
Claims:
1. 1-16. (canceled)

17. A method for generating 99mTc or 188Re, comprising: adsorbing 99Mo or 188W onto an adsorbent having an alumina backbone with a sulfate group or an alumina-zirconia backbone with a sulfate group; allowing the 99Mo or 188W to be decayed to 99mTc or 188Re respectively; and eluting 99mTc or 188Re with a solvent.

18. The method as set forth in claim 17, wherein 99Mo or 188W is adsorbed onto an adsorbent having an alumina backbone with a sulfate group.

19. The method as set forth in claim 17, wherein 99Mo or 188W is adsorbed onto an adsorbent having an alumina-zirconia backbone with a sulfate group.

20. The method as set forth in claim 18, wherein the adsorbent adsorbs molybdate (MoO4) or tungstenate (WO42−) via an ion exchange reaction involving the sulfate group.

21. The method as set forth in claim 19, wherein the adsorbent adsorbs molybdate (MoO42−) or tungstenate (WO42−) via an ion exchange reaction involving the sulfate group.

22. The method as set forth in claim 17, wherein the solvent for eluting is physiological saline.

23. The method as set forth in claim 18, wherein the adsorbent is prepared by steps of: reacting aluminum tri-sec-butoxide with anhydrous sulfuric acid in the presence of an alcohol solvent, thus substituting a butoxy group thereof with a sulfate group (step 1); and treating the resulting mixture of step 1 with hydrochloric acid for hydrolysis, aging the solution at room temperature for a predetermined period of time, and drying it at an elevated temperature, thus forming the adsorbent as a gel (step 2).

24. The method as set forth in claim 19, wherein the adsorbent is prepared by steps of: treating an aluminum tri-sec-butoxide solution dissolved in an alcohol solvent with hydrochloric acid for hydrolysis, thus substituting a butoxy group thereof with a hydroxyl group (step 1); reacting zirconium (IV) butoxide with anhydrous sulfuric acid in the presence of an alcohol solvent, thus preparing sulfated zirconium (step 2); and mixing the resulting mixture of step 1 with the resulting mixture of step 2, aging the solution mixture at room temperature for a predetermined period of time, and drying it at an elevated temperature, thus forming the adsorbent as a gel (step 3).

25. The method as set forth in claim 23, wherein the alcohol solvent is alkyl alcohol, aryl alcohol, or mixtures thereof.

26. The method as set forth in claim 24, wherein the alcohol solvent is alkyl alcohol, aryl alcohol, or mixtures thereof.

27. The method as set forth in claim 23, wherein the hydrochloric acid for hydrolysis is a mixture of hydrochloric acid, water and ethanol.

28. The method as set forth in claim 24, wherein the hydrochloric acid for hydrolysis is a mixture of hydrochloric acid, water and ethanol.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a novel adsorbent for use in a 99Mo/99mTc generator, which is a medical diagnostic radioisotope generator, and in a 188W/188Re generator, which is a therapeutic radioisotope generator.

2. Description of the Related Art

Tedlnetium-99m (99mTc), which is a very important radioisotope in the medical field, has been used for various types of medical diagnosis. 99mTc, acting as a γ-ray emitter having a half life of 6 hours, is the daughter radionuclide of molybdenum-99 (99Mo), which is produced through neutron absorption or fission of molybdenum-98 (98Mo), and is useful for medical diagnosis of incurable diseases, such as cancers and cardiac diseases.

In addition to the diagnostic use, recently, as an interest is taken on therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals, 188Re is receiving attention as an attractive therapeutic nuclide.

188Re is used for various therapeutic purposes including radioinmunuotherapy, synovectomy, and bone pain palliation, and is produced through the decay of the parent nuclide 188W (half life: 69 days), and may be easily obtained in a carrier-free form from a 188W/188Re generator. 188Re has a half life of 16.9 hours and is decayed with β particles, and the β particles have average energy of 764 keV (Emax=2.11 MeV) and emit γ rays (15%) of 155 keV. Therefore, 188Re is advantageous in that an image representing the biodistribution of a compound labeled therewith may be obtained, and pharmacokinetics or uptake quantity in target organs and dosimetry may also be estimated.

Such 99mTc or 188Re may be repeatedly separated from the parent-daughter mixture using a solvent extraction method or a chromatographic method. The chromatographic method is more easily used than other methods because it needs a small device, is easily operated, and is less limited by temporal constraints. The chromatographic extraction system of 99mTc or 188Re is referred to as a “99Mo/99mTc generator” or “188W/188Re generator”. These generators facilitate the extraction of 99mTc or 188Re in hospitals, thanks to convenience and portability, and thus have been generalized in the field of nuclear medicine throughout the world.

Most 99mTc generators that are presently commercially available utilize 99Mo produced through the fission of highly enriched 235U and such fission 99Mo has extremely high specific activity, and may thus be adsorbed on a small alumina column (1˜1.5 g of alumina). However, the fission of 235U is disadvantageous because gases and solid radioactive materials are produced in large amounts, undesirably causing waste disposal problems which are burdensome and incur high costs.

Among the many methods for extracting 99Mo from various target materials irradiated in an atomic reactor, U.S. Pat. No. 5,910,971 discloses a method and system for generating 99Mo in the uranyl sulfate nuclear fuel of a homogeneous solution nuclear reactor. In this disclosure, the nuclear fuel containing 99Mo is passed through an organic adsorbent for extracting 99Mo to thus recover 99Mo along a closed-loop path. U.S. Pat. No. 5,962,597 discloses a specific organic adsorbent for extracting 99Mo from the solution nuclear reactor mentioned in U.S. Pat. No. 5,910,971.

Korean Patent Application No. 2002-7007625 discloses an inorganic adsorbent for effectively and selectively extracting 99M from an irradiated uranium solution. The adsorbent has high radiation resistance, permitting its use in the high radiation zone of a nuclear reactor. This facilitates a closed cycle extraction process that maintains the uranium concentration of the nuclear fuel through many 99Mo extraction cycles while minimizing radioactive waste disposal problems.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,280,053 discloses a 99mTc generator containing zirconium molybdate (ZrOMoO4) gel produced from 99Mo. In this disclosure, the gel is prepared by dissolving 99Mo in a slight excess of aqueous ammonia or sodium hydroxide solution. Specifically, an acid is added to adjust the pH to 1.5˜7, and the produced solution is added to the stirred aqueous zirconium solution to thus form a molybdate precipitate, which is then collected through filtration or liquid distillation, dried in air, and pulverized to a size suitable for use in the generator, thus obtaining zirconium molybdate.

However, because the method of preparing the zirconium molybdate gel includes a plurality of steps of forming the slurry, adjusting the pH, filtering the slurry, conducting washing and drying, and crushing the resultant precipitate to a preferred particle size, it is technically difficult to produce high-quality radioactive zirconium molybdate gel on a commercial scale through so many steps, and the method is thus undesirable.

Further, 98Mo may be irradiated with neutrons, thereby producing (m,γ) 99Mo. This reaction merely results in 99Mo having low specific activity. In the case where a generator is prepared using the same, the use of a column having a large volume is essential. Accordingly, because the volume of an eluent is also increased, only a 99mTc solution having a low activity concentration is produced.

Currently, the international supply of fission 99Mo is mainly dependent on Canada, and thus there is a need to develop alternatives to technetium generators using fission 99Mo as a feed, in order to realize stable supply and avoid long-distance transport. Because the parent nuclide 188W for generating 188Re is not produced by the fission of highly enriched 235U, the introduction of a generator system using a radioisotope produced by radiating a target material in addition to the fission material onto the nuclear reactor is necessary.

However, in the case where the radioisotope is produced through the irradiation of the target material in addition to the fission material, the production yield, which is in proportion to the square of neutron flux, is greatly decreased under conditions in which the nuclear reactor has low neutron flux. The neutron flux of almost of nuclear reactors in Korea, Europe, and North America is relatively low, within the range from about 2×1014 to about 5×1014 n/cm2·s, so that 99Mo or 188W is obtained in a state having low specific activity. Further, upon the preparation of 188W, 186W needs to be subjected to two neutron capture reactions, leading to further decreased yield. In contrast, diagnostic or therapeutic radioactive atoms require high specific activity, and thus, high-performance adsorbents for radioisotope generators are required.

At present, a generator system using an adsorbent having high adsorption capacity for molybdenum has been devised by Kaken Co., Japan. The generator system utilizes a zirconium polymer (PZC) as an adsorbent and (n,γ) molybdenum (having low specific activity) as a 99mTc source. However, the manufacture of the generator column using the above material suffers in that molybdenum is prepared in a batch type and the solution should be heated for a long period of time for the batch reaction, and thereby complicated radiations are required, and furthermore, even if the column is manufactured, the operating performance thereof is deteriorated.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Leading to the present invention, intensive and thorough research into the development of adsorbents having stable physical properties and high adsorption performance, carried out by the present inventors aiming to solve the problems encountered in the related art, resulted in the finding that sulfated alumina and alumina-sulfated zirconia have excellent physical stability, may be loaded in a dry state in a column, and have high adsorption capacity for molybdenum or tungsten, and thus may be used as high-performance adsorbents for radioisotope generators.

Accordingly, the present invention provides an adsorbent having high adsorption capacity for molybdenum or tungsten in a 99Mo/99mTc generator or a 188W/188Re generator.

In addition, the present invention provides a method of preparing the adsorbent.

According to the present invention, there is provided an adsorbent for an isotope, formed by introducing alumina or alumina-zirconia as a structural backbone of a 99Mo adsorbent or a 188W adsorbent with or without a sulfate group.

In addition, according to the present invention, there is provided a method of preparing the adsorbent for an isotope.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a graph illustrating the adsorbed amount of tungsten depending on the change in concentration of a tungsten solution in the adsorbent according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a schematic view illustrating a small 188W/188Re generator system using the adsorbent according to the present invention (A: adsorption column, B: silicone rubber plug, C: controller, D: 188W-containing bottle, E: 188Re-extracting bottle);

FIG. 3 is a graph illustrating the 188Re extraction efficiency and the 188W/188Re ratio upon the elution with 5 of saline in the small 188W/188Re generator using the adsorbent according to the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a graph illustrating the recovery rate of 188Re depending on the amount of eluent in the small 188W/188Re generator using the adsorbent according to the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a photograph of an aluminum test kit for showing the aluminum concentration of the 188Re solution extracted from the small 188W/188Re generator using the adsorbent according to the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a chromatography graph illustrating the purity of the 188 Re solution extracted from the small 188W/188Re generator using the adsorbent according to the present invention;

FIG. 7 is an ITLC graph illustrating whether colloid is present or not in the 188Re solution extracted from the small 188W/188Re generator using the adsorbent according to the present invention; and

FIG. 8 is an ITLC graph illustrating the HEDP labeling yield of the 188Re solution extracted from the small 188W/188Re generator using the adsorbent according to the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Hereinafter, a detailed description will be given of the present invention.

The present invention provides an adsorbent for an isotope, formed by introducing alumina or alumina-zirconia as a structural backbone of an adsorbent with or without a sulfate group.

In the adsorbent for an isotope according to the present invention, the adsorbent may be provided in the form of a sulfated alimina composite (Al2O3—SO4). The pore geometry of the sulfated alumina adsorbent may be represented by Formula 1 below:

In addition, in the adsorbent for an isotope according to the present invention, the adsorbent may be provided in the form of an alumina-sulfated zirconia composite (Al2O3—ZrO2—SO4). The pore geometry of the alumina-sulfated zirconia adsorbent may be represented by Formula 2 below:

In the adsorbent for an isotope according to the present invention, the particle size of the adsorbent for an isotope is not particularly limited, but is preferably set in the range of 10˜500 μm. Even when the particle size is less than 10 μm or exceeds 500 μm, the adsorption performance is not affected. In the case where the particle size falls outside of the above range, the adsorption/desorption of the radioisotope is delayed, or the flow of the solvent in the adsorption column is not efficient.

In the adsorbent for an isotope according to the present invention, the isotope may be molybdenum or tungsten.

The sulfated alumina adsorbent adsorbs molybdate (MoO42−) or tungstenate (WO42−) via an ion exchange reaction involving the sulfate group.

The method of preparing the sulfated alumina adsorbent includes reacting aluminium tri-sec-butoxide (ASB) with anhydrous sulfuric acid in the presence of an alcohol solvent, thus substituting the butoxy group of ASB with a sulfate group (step 1); and adding the reaction solution of step 1 with hydrochloric acid for hydrolysis, aging the solution at room temperature for a predetermined period of time, and drying it at an elevated temperature, thus forming a gel (step 2).

Specifically, step 1 is a process of reacting ASB with anhydrous sulfuric acid in the presence of an alcohol solvent, thus substituting the butoxy group of ASB with the sulfate group.

Examples of the alcohol solvent include alkyl alcohol, aryl alcohol, and mixtures thereof, and the alcohol solvent: is preferably used in an amount of 1˜10 mol based on 1 mol of ASB.

Subsequently, 0.015 mol of anhydrous sulfuric acid is added, after which the solution is stirred for a time period ranging from about 10 min to about 48 hours, thus preparing a reaction solution in which the butoxy group of ASB is substituted with the sulfate group.

Thereafter, step 2 is a process of adding the reaction solution of step 1 with hydrochloric acid, thus hydrolyzing it, aging the solution at room temperature for a predetermined period of time, and drying it at an elevated temperature, thus forming a gel.

The hydrochloric acid for hydrolysis is preferably combined with water and ethanol, and the hydrochloric acid, water, and ethanol are preferably combined in amounts of 0.001˜1 mol, 0.1˜30 mol, and 0.001˜100 mol, respectively.

The solution added with hydrochloric acid, water and ethanol is aged at room temperature, and dried at an elevated temperature in an oven, thus forming a gel. As such, the aging is conducted for 1˜72 hours, and the drying is conducted under conditions of 50˜300° C. and 1˜72 hours.

The gel thus formed is pulverized using a mortar and pestle and is then sieved, thus obtaining gel particles having a predetermined particle size, preferably 10˜500 μm. Also, washing the gel particles with an organic solvent, including alcohol or acetone, and drying them may be additionally conducted, thereby obtaining pure gel particles.

The adsorbent particles thus obtained may be stored in a sealed bottle for extended use.

Also, the alumina-sulfated zirconia adsorbent adsorbs molybdate (MoO42−) or tungstate (WO42−) via an ion exchange reaction involving sulfated zirconia.

The method of preparing the alumina-sulfated zirconia includes adding ASB dissolved in an alcohol solvent with hydrochloric acid for hydrolysis, thus substituting the butoxy group thereof with a hydroxyl group (step 1); reacting zirconium (IV) propoxide with anhydrous sulfuric acid in the presence of an alcohol solvent, thus preparing sulfated zirconium (step 2); and mixing the reaction solution of step 1 with the reaction solution of step 2, aging the mixture at room temperature for a predetermined period of time, and drying it at an elevated temperature, thus forming a gel (step 3).

Specifically, step 1 is a process of adding ASB dissolved in an alcohol solvent with hydrochloric acid to thus hydrolyze the ASB so that the butoxy group thereof is substituted with a hydroxyl group.

Examples of the alcohol solvent include alkyl alcohol, aryl alcohol, and mixtures thereof and the alcohol solvent is used in an amount of 1˜10 mol based on 1 mol of ASB.

The hydrochloric acid for hydrolysis is combined with water and ethanol, and the hydrochloric acid, water, and ethanol are preferably combined in amounts of 0.001˜1 mol, 0.1˜30 mol, and 0.001˜100 mol, respectively.

Thereafter, step 2 is a process of reacting zirconium (IV) propoxide with anhydrous sulfuric acid in the presence of an alcohol solvent, thus preparing sulfated zirconium.

Examples of the alcohol solvent include alkyl alcohol, aryl alcohol, and mixtures thereof, and the alcohol solvent is preferably used in an amount of 1˜10 mol based on 1 mol of zirconium (IV) propoxide.

The anhydrous sulfuric acid is preferably added in an amount of 0.001˜30 mol.

Thereafter, step 3 is a process of mixing the reaction solution of step 1 with the reaction solution of step 2, aging the mixture at room temperature for a predetermined period of time, and drying it at an elevated temperature, thus forming a gel.

The aging is conducted for 12˜72 hours, and the drying is conducted under conditions of 50˜200° C. and 12˜72 hours.

The gel thus dried is pulverized using a mortar and pestle and is then sieved, thus obtaining gel particles having a predetermined particle size, preferably 10˜500 μm.

The adsorbent particles thus obtained may be stored in a sealed bottle for extended use.

In addition, the present invention provides an isotope generator using the above adsorbent.

The adsorbent composed of sulfated alumina or alumina-sulfated zirconia prepared through the above method has adsorption capacity superior to that of conventional adsorbents (Tables 1 and 2), and is loaded in an adsorption column for adsorbing radioisotope 99Mo or 188W, and can thus be efficiently used for a radioisotope generator extracting 99mTc or 188Re.

In the 188Re generator according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, in the case where the adsorption capacity of the adsorbent is about 450 mg/g, because specific activity of 188W is typically 3˜6 mCi/mg, a generator column for adsorbing 188W of 1 Ci needs a volume for accommodating only about 0.2˜0.4 g of the adsorbent therein. Thus, the column of the radioisotope generator using the adsorbent of the present invention may be manufactured to be smaller than commercial columns. For example, the size of the column of the invention may be 1/30˜ 1/10 of the size of commercial columns. The small isotope generator is manufactured in a manner such that the bottom of a pyrex column having an internal diameter of 0.9 cm, a length of 6 cm and a thickness of 1.5 mm is capped with a silicone rubber plug having a thickness of 0.95 cm and a length of 0.7 cm, after which a glass fiber filter, 1 g of alumina, 0.7 g of the adsorbent of the present invention, and 0.2 g of glass beads are sequentially loaded on the bottom of the column, and then the top of the column is capped with a silicone rubber plug having a thickness of 0.95 cm and a length of 0.7 cm, and further, syringe needles are mounted to the top and bottom of the column to adsorb 188W and extract 188Re. The small isotope generator is simple and portable, and using an eluent (0.9% physiological saline) in a small amount of 5 or less, 80˜90% or more of 188Re can be recovered from 188W, leading to an enrichment effect tens of times that of commercial columns. Thereby, there is no need to additionally enrich 188Re. Upon use in hospitals, the above column eliminates conventional burdensome problems in which a large amount of solution must be controlled, and manifests efficiency equal to that of a conventional isotope generator, and is thus useful for the production of 188Re for radiotherapy.

A better understanding of the present invention may be obtained in light of the following examples, which are set forth to illustrate, but are not to be construed to limit the present invention.

Example 1

Preparation of Sulfated Alumina 1

In a vessel, 7.64 of ASB was dissolved in 15 of octanol, slowly added with 0.58 of anhydrous sulfuric acid with stirring for 10 min, and was then reacted for 2 hours. The solution thus obtained was slowly added with a solution comprising 0.65 of 0.14 M hydrochloric acid and 1.94 of ethanol, allowed to stand at room temperature for 24 hours, washed with acetone and ethanol in turn, and dried at 90° C. for 24 hours, thus obtaining a ceramic material composed of milk-white or light brown particles. The material thus obtained was dried, powdered using a mortar and pestle, boiled along with acetone, dried at 80° C. for 24 hours, and then stored in a sealed state.

Example 2

Preparation of Sulfated Alumina 2

In a vessel, 7.64 of ASB was dissolved in a mixture comprising 5 of ethanol and 10 of octanol, slowly added with 0.58 of anhydrous sulfuric acid with stirring for 10 min, and then reacted for 20 min. In another vessel, 0.65 of 0.14 M hydrochloric acid was added to 1.94 of ethanol and then stirred. Thereafter, the reacted ASB solution was slowly added with the solution comprising hydrochloric acid and ethanol, allowed to stand at room temperature for 24 hours, and then dried at 90° C. for 24 hours, thus obtaining a ceramic material composed of milk-white or light brown particles. The material thus obtained was powdered using a mortar and pestle, washed with acetone and ethanol in turn, dried at 90° C. for 24 hours, and then stored in a sealed state.

Example 3

Preparation of Sulfated Alumina 3

In a vessel, 7.94 of ASB was dissolved in 4.5 of isobutanol, slowly added with 4.5 of ethanol with stirring for 10 min, slowly added with 0.58 of anhydrous sulfuric acid with stirring for 1 hour, and then reacted for 1 hour. In another vessel, 0.54 of 0.14 M hydrochloric acid was added to 1.62 of ethanol and then stirred. Thereafter, the reacted ASB solution was slowly added with the solution comprising hydrochloric acid and ethanol, allowed to stand at room temperature for 24 hours, and dried under conditions of 80° C. for 24 hours, 130° C. for 24 hours, and 150° C. for 24 hours, thus obtaining a ceramic material composed of milk-white or light brown particles. The material thus obtained was powdered using a mortar and pestle, washed with acetone, boiled with acetone, dried at 80° C. for 24 hours, and then stored in a sealed state.

Example 4

Preparation of Sulfated Alumna 4

In a vessel, 15.88 of ASB was dissolved in a mixture comprising 10 of ethanol and 20 of octanol, slowly added with 1.16 of anhydrous sulfuric acid with stirring for 30 min, and then reacted for 1 hour. In another vessel, 1.08 of 0.14 M hydrochloric acid was added to 3.24 of ethanol and then stirred. Thereafter, subsequent procedures were conducted in the same manner as in Example 3, thus obtaining a ceramic material composed of milk-white or light brown particles.

Example 5

Preparation of Sulfated Alumna 5

In a vessel, 7.94 of ASB was dissolved in 12 of isobutanol, stirred for 10 min, added with 3 of ethanol, slowly added with 0.65 of anhydrous sulfuric acid with stirring for 10 min, and then reacted for 1.5 hours. In another vessel, 0.54 of 0.14 M hydrochloric acid was added to 1.62 of ethanol and then stirred to obtain a homogeneous mixture. Thereafter, the reacted ASB solution was slowly added with the solution comprising hydrochloric acid and ethanol, allowed to stand at room temperature for 24 hours, and dried under conditions of 80° C. for 24 hours and 130° C. for 8 hours, thus obtaining a ceramic material composed of milk-white or light brown particles. The material thus obtained was powdered using a mortar and pestle, and was then stored in a sealed state.

Example 6

Preparation of Alumina-Sulfated Zirconia 1

(1) Solution 1: This solution was prepared in a manner such that, in a vessel, 7.64 of ASB was dissolved in 17.5 of ethanol, and was then added with 0.27 of 0.14 M hydrochloric acid with stirring for 30 min.

(2) Solution 2: This solution was prepared in a manner such that 4.64 of zirconium (IV) propoxide was added to 8.75 of ethanol, slowly added with 0.42 of anhydrous sulfuric acid, and then reacted for 30 min.

(3) The solution 1 was slowly added with the solution 2, reacted for 30 min, added with 0.81 of 0.14 M hydrochloric acid, allowed to stand at room temperature for 24 hours, and dried at 80° C. for 24 hours, thus obtaining a ceramic material composed of white or milk-white particles. The material this obtained was powdered using a mortar and pestle, and was then stored in a sealed state.

Example 7

Preparation of Alumina-Sulfated Zirconia 2

(1) Solution 1: This solution was prepared in a manner such that, in a vessel, 7.64 of ASB was dissolved in 17.5 of ethanol, stirred for 1 hour, added with 0.27 of 0.14 M hydrochloric acid, and stirred for 1 hour.

(2) Solution 2: This solution was prepared in a manner such that 4.64 of zirconium (IV) propoxide was slowly added with 0.42 of anhydrous sulfuric acid, reacted for 1 hour, and added with 8.75 of ethanol.

(3) The solution 1 was slowly added with the solution 2, after which the same steps as in Example 6 were conducted, with the exception that the reaction was conducted for 1 hour, thus obtaining a ceramic material composed of white or milks white particles. The material thus obtained was powdered using a mortar and pestle, and was then stored in a sealed state.

Example 8

Preparation of Alumina-Sulfated Zirconia 3

(1) Solution 1: This solution was prepared in the same manner as in Example 7.

(2) Solution 2: This solution was prepared in the same manner as in Example 6, with the exception that 0.84 of anhydrous sulfuric acid was added.

(3) The same steps as in Example 7 were conducted, thus obtaining a ceramic material composed of white or milk-white particles. The material thus obtained was powdered using a mortar and pestle, and was then stored in a sealed state.

Example 9

Preparation of Alumina-Sulfated Zirconia 4

(1) Solution 1: This solution was prepared in the same manner as in Example 7.

(2) Solution 2: This solution was prepared in the same manner as in Example 6, with the exception that 1.68 of anhydrous sulfuric acid was added.

(3) The same steps as in Example 7 were conducted with the exception that drying was conducted under conditions of 80° C. for 24 hours and 250° C. for 25 min, thus obtaining a ceramic material composed of white or milk-white particles. The material thus obtained was powdered using a mortar and pestle, and was then stored in a sealed state.

Example 10

Preparation of Alumina-Sulfated Zirconia 5

(1) Solution 1: This solution was prepared in the same manner as in Example 7.

(2) Solution 2: This solution was prepared in a manner such that 0.172 g of yttrium nitrate was dissolved in 8.75 of ethanol, added with 4.64 of zirconium (IV) propoxide, slowly added with 0.84 of anhydrous sulfuric acid, and reacted for 1 hour.

(3) The same steps as in Example 7 were conducted, thus obtaining a ceramic material composed of white or milk-white particles. The material thus obtained was powdered using a mortar and pestle, and was then stored in, a sealed state.

Example 11

Preparation of 188W/188Re Generator

The bottom of a pyrex column having an internal diameter of 0.9 cm, a length of 6 cm and a thickness of 1.5 ram was capped with a silicone rubber plug having a thickness of 0.95 cm and a length of 0.7 cm, after which a glass fiber filter, 1 g of alumina, 0.7 g of the inventive adsorbent, and 0.2 g of glass beads were sequentially loaded on the bottom of the column, and then the top of the column was capped with a silicone rubber plug having a thickness of 0.95 cm and a length of 0.7 cm. Further, syringe needles were mounted to the top and bottom of the column to adsorb 198W and extract 188Re, thus manufacturing the generator system shown in FIG. 2.

Experimental Example 1

Molybdenum (99Mo) Adsorption Capacity Experiment

In order to evaluate the adsorption capacity of the adsorbent of the present invention for molybdenum, which is the parent nuclide of technetium, the following experiment was conducted.

<1-1> Molybdenum (99Mo) Adsorption Capacity of Sulfated Alumina (Al2O3—SO4)

0.5 g of each of the adsorbents of Examples 1˜5 and a conventional alumina adsorbent was added to 25 of a molybdenum (Mo) solution having a pH of 10.5 and a concentration of 10,500 mg/l, and was then reacted at room temperature for 2 hours with stirring, after which the change in the amount of molybdenum in the above solution was measured using a multichannel analyzer (HPGe-γ-ray detector, EG & G Ortec, Model #GEM 10175). Before the molybdenum solution was reacted with the adsorbent, it was added with radioisotope 99Mo, acting as a tracer, so that the concentration thereof was 0.25 μCi/. The change in the radioactivity of the aqueous solution was measured, and the adsorbed amount of molybdenum was calculated. The results are shown in Table 1 below.

TABLE 1
Adsorbed Amount (mg/g)
Ex. 1208
Ex. 2216
Ex. 3218
Ex. 4170
Ex. 5240
Alumina<5

As is apparent from Table 1, the sulfated alumina adsorbent of the present invention showed an adsorption rate about 40 times as high as that of the conventional alumina adsorbent.

<1-2> 99Mo Adsorption Capacity of Alumina-Sulfated Zirconia (Al2O3—ZrO2—SO4)

The adsorption capacity was measured in the same manner as in <1-1>, with the exception that the alumina-sulfated zirconia adsorbent of Examples 6˜10 was used, instead of the sulfated alumina adsorbent. The results are shown in Table 2 below.

TABLE 2
Adsorbed Amount (mg/g)
Ex. 6109
Ex. 793
Ex. 8231
Ex. 9211
Ex. 10217
Alumina<5

As is apparent from Table 2, the alumina-sulfated zirconia adsorbent of the present invention showed an adsorption rate about 20˜40 times as high as that of the conventional alumina adsorbent. Thus, the adsorbent according to the present invention can be useful as an adsorbent for 99Mo/99mTc generators, which are medical diagnostic radioisotope generators.

Experimental Example 2

Technetium (99mTc) Elution Experiment

In order to evaluate the elution efficiency of the adsorbent of the present invention for technetium, the following experiments were conducted.

<2-1> Technetium (99mTc) Elution of Sulfated Alumina (Al2O3—SO4)

A column having an internal diameter of 1 cm was packed such that 2 g of the sulfated alumina of Example 5 was disposed between 0.2 g of each of upper and lower beds of glass beads, after which 50 of a molybdenum (Mo) solution having a pH of 10.5 and a concentration of 10,500 mg/ was passed at a flow rate of 1 /min through the column, and then the adsorbed amount of molybdenum was measured using a multichannel analyzer (HPGe-γ-ray detector, EG & G Ortec, Model #GEM 10175). As a result, the adsorbed amount thereof was determined to be 392 mg/g.

After the adsorption, the amount of technetium eluted was measured and the elution efficiency was calculated. In this case as well, a multichannel analyzer was used.

As the result, the technetium elution efficiency of the sulfated alumina was about 60˜80%.

<2-2> Technetium (99mTc) Elution of Alumina-Sulfated Zirconia (Al2O3—ZrO2—SO4)

The adsorption capacity and elution efficiency were measured in the same manner as in <2-1>, with the exception that the alumina-sulfated zirconia adsorbent of Example 10 was used, instead of the sulfated alumina adsorbent.

As the results, the adsorption capacity of the alumina-sulfated zirconia adsorbent was 195 mg/g, and the technetium elution efficiency of the alumina-sulfated zirconia adsorbent was about 60˜85%.

Experimental Example 3

Tungsten (188W) Adsorption Capacity Experiment 1

In order to evaluate the adsorption capacity of the adsorbent of the present invention for tungsten (188W), which is the parent nuclide of rhenium (188Re), the following experiment was conducted.

0.5 g of the sulfated alumina adsorbent of Example 5 was added to 25 of a tungstate (WO42−) solution having a pH of 10.5 and a concentration of 25,000 mg/l, and was then reacted at room temperature for 2 hours with stirring, after which the change in the amount of tungsten in the above solution was measured using a multichannel analyzer (HPGe-γ-ray detector, EG & G Ortec, Model #GEM 10175). Before the tungstate solution was reacted with the adsorbent, it was added with radioisotope 188W acting as a tracer, so that the concentration thereof was 0.25 μCi/.

As a result, the amount of tungsten (188W) adsorbed by the alumina was less than 5 mg/g, whereas the amount of tungsten (W) adsorbed by the sulfated alumina adsorbent was 480 mg/g, from which it can be seen that the sulfated alumina adsorbent exhibited adsorption capacity about 80 times higher than that of the conventional alumina adsorbent.

Hence, the adsorbent of the present invention can be efficiently used as a novel adsorbent for 188W/188Re generators, which are therapeutic radioisotope generators.

Experimental Example 4

Tungsten (188W) Adsorption Capacity Experiment 2

In order to evaluate the adsorption capacity of the adsorbent of the present invention depending on the concentration of the tungsten solution, the following experiment was conducted.

An appropriate amount of 186WO3 was added to 1.0 M NaOH solution, and was then gradually heated to dissolve it, after which the pH of the resultant solution was adjusted to 10. Subsequently, 20 of each of tungsten solutions having various concentrations in the range of 100˜10,000 mg/l and the pH adjusted to 10.5, and 0.2 g of the adsorbent of Example 5 were subjected to batch reaction at room temperature for 3 hours, after which the adsorbed amount of tungsten was measured at respective concentrations. Specifically, before the initiation of the reaction, in order to measure the adsorbed amount of tungsten, 1 μCi/ 188W was added to the tungsten solution, and the amounts of 188W in the tungsten solution before and after the reaction were compared, thus calculating the adsorbed amount thereof. The measurement of 188W was carried out using a multichannel analyzer (HPGe-γ-ray detector, EG & G Ortec, Model #GEM 10175).

The results are shown in FIG. 1.

As shown in FIG. 1, the amount of 188W adsorbed by the adsorbent of the present invention depending on the change in the concentration of the tungsten solution is represented by an adsorption isotherm curve of Langmuir Type-I. The maximum adsorbed amount calculated on the basis of a nonlinear coefficient method was 462.7±1.5 mg/g, and the actual adsorbed amount in the 5,000 mg/11 solution was 490 mg/g, which is considered very high.

Experimental Example 5

Demonstration Experiment of 188W/188Re Generator Column

In order to evaluate the performance of a small 188W/188Re generator using the adsorbent of the present invention, the following experiment was conducted.

Crude 188W for a 1 Ci 188W solution was purchased from RIAR (Research Institute of Atomic Reactors) through TENEX Co., Russia. The imported crude solution is specified as follows.

188W Solution Volume: 3.36

188W Radioactivity: 1.27 Ci

Specific Activity: 7.56 Ci/g

187W/188W: 12%

Concentration of Sodium Hydroxide: 0.2 N

Total Tungsten Concentration: 50 mg/

(1) Measurement of 188W Adsorption Rate

The imported 188W solution was added with an HCl solution to adjust the pH thereof to about 6, and was then diluted to a total volume of 5 , thus preparing a loading solution. Then, the 188W solution was introduced into the 188W/188Re generator column of Example 11 at a flow rate of 1 /min using a peristaltic pump, after which the solution discharged from the column was collected into a glass bottle, and the radioactivity thereof was measured. As the result, 99% or more of 188W was adsorbed on the inner wall of the column, from which the excellent performance of the adsorbent of the present invention was confirmed.

(2) Measurement of 188Re Recovery Rate

10 of physiological saline was passed through the column several times to remove 188W, which was not adsorbed, from the column, and the removal of 188W was confirmed. Thereafter, physiological saline was added at intervals of every 4˜7 days for 3 months, thus extracting 188Re, after which the recovery rate of 188Re and the residual amount of 188W in the 188Re solution were measured. The results are shown in FIG. 3.

As shown in FIG. 3, the recovery rate of 188Re was in the range of 75˜90%, and was maintained at a level of about 80%, except for 188Re recovered in the first two experiments. This recovery rate could be seen to be equal to that of presently commercially available generators.

FIG. 4 shows the recovered amount of 188Re relative to the introduced amount of eluent (0.9% physiological saline) in the recovery of 188Re. As shown in FIG. 4, 188Re was recovered to a level of 90% or more of the total recovered amount in a volume fraction of 5 or less, thus realizing an enrichment effect tens of times that of commercial columns. Therefore, the small 188W/188Re generator using the adsorbent of the present invention could eliminate problems in which a large amount of solution must be controlled for use in hospitals.

In the case of presently commercially available 188W/188Re generators, in the early stage at which the generator is mounted, 188Re can be used directly after extraction with physiological saline. However, as the extraction frequency is increased, the concentration of 188Re in the physiological saline is decreased, and thus there are problems in which enrichment is required. In contrast, the small 188W/188Re generator using the adsorbent of the invention obviates the need for such enrichment, and thus can be convenient to prepare 188Re.

(3) 188 Re Nuclide Purity

In order to determine the radioactivity of 188W in the extracted 188Re solution, the radioactivity of 188Re was sufficiently decayed, and was then measured using a gamma spectrometer. The results are shown in FIG. 3.

As shown in FIG. 3, the mean 188 W/188Re ratio of the 188Re solution was 2×10−3, which doubles 1×10−3, which is the standard in pharmacopoeia. This phenomenon is considered to be caused because a considerable amount of non-radioactive tungsten is contained in the column loading solution, and thus the adsorption active layer in the column should be increased in length rather than in volume, but the length of the column is short. Hence, the above problem was solved by installing a tandem column of Sep-pak® packed with acidic alumina, in order to decrease the residual amount of tungsten to a standard level or less. As seen in FIG. 3, from the 11th elution after Sep-pak® was installed, alumina in Sep-pak® was equilibrated with the extraction solution, and thus the recovery rate of 188Re was returned to 80% or more. The content of 188W was also confirmed to be maintained at 1×10−3 or less, which is the standard of pharmacopoeia.

(4) Analysis of Quality of 188Re Solution

The important factors determining the quality of the extracted 188Re solution include the 188W/188Re ratio, the aluminum concentration in the 188Re solution, the radiochemical purity, and the labeling yield of 188Re and a compound that is labeled therewith.

Aluminum Concentration

The aluminum concentration in the extracted 188Re solution was measured using an aluminum test kit. As the test kit, TEC-CONTROL ALUMINUM BREAKTHRU KIT (Biodex Medical Systems) was used. 10 mg/l of each of the standard solution and the extracted 188Re solution was dropped on the kit, and the color and size were compared. The results are shown in FIG. 5.

In FIG. 5, T indicates the 188Re solution and S indicates the standard solution.

From FIG. 5, the aluminum concentration in the extracted 188Re solution could be seen to be much lower than an allowable value based on the fact that the size of the concentric circle thereof was smaller, compared to the standard solution.

Chemical Purity of 188Re

The chemical purity of the extracted 188Re was measured using chromatography. The extracted 188Re was dropped on whatmann Paper #4, and was then developed using a developer composed of 75% methanol and 25% pure water. The results are shown in FIG. 6.

From FIG. 6, the extracted 188Re could be seen to have very high purity because 100% 188Re was exclusively shown.

Further, whether the 188Re was present in a colloid form (ReO2) was evaluated using ITLC. Specifically, on a silica gel plate for ITLC, the extracted 188Re solution was dropped, developed using acetone, and analyzed. The results are shown in FIG. 7.

As seen in FIG. 7, in the extracted 188Re solution, no 188Re colloid particles were detected.

HEDP Labeling Yield of 188Re

188Re-HEDP is mainly used in order to palliate pain from cancer that has spread to the bone marrow. Thus, the labeling yield of extracted 188Re and HEDP (hydroxyethylene diphosphonate) was measured. Said 188Re and HEDP were labeled according to the standardized procedure, and the synthesis results thereof were analyzed using ITLC. The analysis results are shown in FIG. 8.

As shown in FIG. 8, said 188Re was confirmed to completely label HEDP.

In this way, 188Re extracted from the small 188W/188Re generator using the adsorbent of the present invention could be seen to satisfy requirements for pharmaceuticals through the quality analysis. Therefore, the small 188W/188Re generator using the adsorbent of the present invention is advantageous because it has a small size, is convenient to use, is highly efficient, and can extract 188Re, satisfying requirements for pharmaceuticals, and can thus be effectively applied in fields requiring 188Re.

As described hereinbefore, the sulfated alumina or alumina-sulfated zirconia according to the present invention exhibits adsorption capacity superior to that of conventional adsorbents, and is stable and is thus loaded in a dry state in an adsorption column, so that the radioisotope 99Mo or 188W can be adsorbed. Thus, it is possible to miniaturize the column, and such a miniaturized column is small, convenient to use, and highly efficient, and can extract a radioisotope satisfying requirements for pharmaceuticals, and therefore, can be effectively used for radioisotope generators extracting 99mTc or 188Re.

Although the preferred embodiments of the present invention have been disclosed for illustrative purposes, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various modifications, additions and substitutions are possible, without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention as disclosed in the accompanying claims.