CERN Accelerating science

European Organization for Nuclear Research

Method for the production of carrier-free radioisotopes


The invention comprises a novel method for the large-scale production of high-purity radioisotopes, particularly those of the carrier-free and non-carrier-added varieties. Using this method, mass production of radioisotope preparations for use in life science research, medicine and industry is achievable on an industrial scale. By combining a number of innovative physical and radiochemical unit operations, the method allows the extraction and refinement of any useful isotope from a suitably activated material, in a non-destructive and reusable way. The process generates a minimum of waste (virtually no liquid waste) and permits the use of a target material, however activated, as the raw material.

Area of expertise

Accelerators, Magnets and Cryogenic Technology


- Life science/medical/chemical R&D
- Radiopharmaceutical industry
- Nuclear medicine, in particular for cancer therapies
- Radiochemical separation techniques
- Radioactive waste recycling; allows harvesting of certain valuable radionuclides from radioactive waste materials


- Universal access to the entire chart of radionuclides
- Allows large-scale production of rare and highly-sought isotopes
- High purity carrier-free quality
- Non-destructive and reusable process
- Minimum waste generation


- Higher technical effort required; requires a powerful particle accelerator (>100 MeV)
- The small life time of some isotopes require that the isotope can only be applied/used in a few hours distance from the accelerator

Intellectual Property status

Current patent registered with the title: Method for production of radioisotope preparations and their use in life science, research, medical application and industry. International Publication Number: WO 2006/074960 A1, Published in 20 of July 2006 and with the International Application Number: PCT/EP2006/000324.

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