Production of short-lived PET-radionuclides has a history in Turku extending to the middle 1970s. The MGC-20 cyclotron was installed in 1974 and the production of short-lived radionuclides started soon after. 11C-, 13N-, 15O- and 18F-precursors have been produced for various applications. Since the early 1980s work has been focused on 11C-, 18F- and 15O-precursors used for radiochemical syntheses. After the installation in 1992 of the IBA 3D cyclotron at the Turku University Hospital all work on 15O has been carried out on that machine. The MGC-20 cyclotron has also been used for the production of longer-lived radionuclides especially in connection with nuclear reaction cross-section measurements.
At present our capabilities are based on the MGC-20 cyclotron (K=20, multiparticle, variable energy, proton-beam current of 10 microamperes, extensive automated targetry) located in the Gadolinia building of Åbo Akademi University, and on the CC-18/9 cyclotron (K=18, proton and deuteron beams, proton-beam current of 100 microamperes, superior automated devices for radionuclide production) taken into use in 2006. The CC-18/9 cyclotron is located in the Turku University Hospital PET-building. Besides for the production of the above mentioned short-lived positron emitters the CC-18/9 cyclotron is also used for weekly production of 64Cu.
The research on radionuclide production and targetry is focused on the understanding of in-target processes, i.e. ”hot-atom” chemistry. A central research aim is the development of improved cyclotron target technology for reliable production of positron-emitting radionuclides in various chemical forms in order to increase production yields, specific radioactivity, radionuclidic and chemical purity.
Besides for radionuclide production the MGC-20 cyclotron is also used for trace-element analyses utilising the PIXE-technique (Particle Induced X-ray Emission).
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