Practical aspects of 153Gd as a radioactive source for use in brachytherapy
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The goal of this study was to investigate the production, purification and immobilization techniques for a 153Gd brachytherapy source. We have investigated the maximum attainable specific activity of 153Gd through the irradiation of Gd2O3 enriched to 30.6% 152Gd at McMaster Nuclear Reactor. The advantage of producing 153Gd through this production pathway is the possibility to irradiate pre-sealed pellets of 152Gd enriched Gd2O3, thereby removing the need to perform chemical separation with large quantities of radio-impurities. However, small amounts of long-lived impurities are produced from the irradiation of enriched 152Gd targets due to traces of Eu in the sample. If the amount of impurities produced is deemed unacceptable, 153Gd can be isolated as an aqueous solution, chemically separated from impurities and loaded onto a sorbent with a high affinity for Gd before encapsulation.
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