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A Multilevel Automation Concept for the Target-Based Production of Radioisotopes for Cancer Treatment

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6 Author(s)
Eursch, A. ; Inst. for Machine Tools & Industrial Manage., Technische Univ. Munchen ; Harfensteller, M. ; Schilp, M. ; Zaeh, M.F.
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Alpha-particle-immuno-therapy is a new approach for the treatment of cancer. To produce the required radioisotope actinium (Ac-225) and thus enable the new therapy, an automated manufacturing plant needs to be developed. A striking characteristic of this project is the usage of the long-lived radioisotope radium (Ra-226) as source of the production, meaning that from the very beginning, radioactive material has to be handled. Aside from safety aspects, other challenges exist, such as space limitations, unknown processes and the non-existence of testing possibilities. These requirements demand for adequate technical solutions to realize the aimed manufacturing plant based on a target carrier. In particular, the second part of the production line, the disassembly of the target carrier, requires an innovative approach. Thus a multilevel automation concept was developed: The disassembly operations take place at different levels to deal with limited space requirements. A core element of the concept is a mobile platform for vertical movements where the target is fixed, thus enabling the operation of the process steps for the target with restricted mobility. Further benefits are a significant increase in flexibility, a reduction of complexity and the availability of high forces, in combination with precise and controlled movements. Critical process steps such as the rinsing of the target components to extract the products can be done simultaneously

Published in:

Automation Science and Engineering, 2006. CASE '06. IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

8-10 Oct. 2006