Liguid target for F18 production
internal H- ion source for PET cyclotron
AIMA & trends in Nuclear Medicine
From its early years, Nuclear Medicine is a powerful diagnostics tool using scintigraphy with single photons (SPECT). This activity is mature and now slowly decreasing while the new imaging modality based on positron emitters isotopes (PET) is very promising, but still in its infancy and fast growing.
- For SPECT the most widely used radioisotope is Technetium-99m (Tc99m). Because of world shortages of reactors route (many of them are stopped in 2015-2016) the IAEA and OCDE experts have recommended to explore alternative production methods based on accelerators. Therefore dedicated high intensity cyclotrons could be the working horses of these new routes.
- The PET activity is in full swing worldwide, with 80% of the PET scans exams in oncology and 20% in neurology.
Today about 80% of the PET exams use Fluorine-18 (F18) based radiotracers. On-going research trials throughout the world are investigating new radiopharmaceuticals for PET for both diagnosis and therapy and it is anticipated that the market growth will be multiplied by 5 in the near future.
The main disadvantage of PET radiapharmaceutical is their short half-life (e.g. 110 min for F18), which results in complex logistics problems (outdoors production, transport).
For a Nuclear Medicine department which plans to use isotopes with an even shorter half-life, the solution is a dedicated mini-cyclotron, easy to installed, close to the patients.
The AIMA PN PET cyclotron
Before the creation of AIMA Developpement, our experts have designed, realized and commissionned from A to Z a 15 MeV/80 μA dual beam cyclotron between 2002 and 2005. The rights of this machine have been sold to the industry.
Up to now, AIMA has developped many skills in accelerator design and is presently working on 2 innovative machines that offer response to the present and future needs in isotopes of nuclear medicine.