A UK-based startup has unveiled an innovative technology that has the potential to change the landscape of cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Astral Systems, a company founded by the University of Bristol, has introduced the use of a multi-state fusion (MSF) reactor, the first of its kind.
It is designed to produce medical isotopes needed for both radiotherapy and cancer diagnostic imaging.
Medical isotopes are radioactive substances used in medicine for various diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
As stated therein Press releaseThese isotopes can play an important role in targeted cancer therapy by effectively killing cancer cells during radiation therapy.
In addition, they can act as “radioactive tracers” inside the body to facilitate the diagnosis of medical conditions through imaging.
These isotopes can detect and measure radiation, providing health professionals with significant information about the structure and function of body organs and tissues.
Fewer number of reactors
Much of the global supply of medical isotopes relies on a small number of fission reactors.
The relevance of the discovery stems from the scarcity of medical isotopes, with UK government estimates indicating that the majority of the global supply rests on a handful of aging fission reactors, most of which are expected to be decommissioned by 2030.
This raises concerns about whether these important medical resources will be available in the future. The new MSF fusion reactor offers a compact solution to this challenge.
The company envisions developing smaller fusion reactors that could be strategically installed in regional isotope facilities not only in the UK, but around the world.
This decentralized strategy promises to provide a more flexible and cost-effective delivery of radioactive samples.
Small furnaces for big problems
By installing these reactors on a smaller scale, the company seeks to reduce the risks associated with relying on a few large reactors. This will ensure continuous and reliable production of medical isotopes.
“Our systems are developed very quickly and can produce isotopes in much smaller quantities than alternative technologies. This means that medical isotopes can be produced near or within hospital centers without relying on large international nuclear fission plants,” said Dalmon Firestone, co-founder and CEO of Astral Systems and visiting researcher at the University of Bristol. said.
Firestone added, “This will dramatically increase the diagnostic and treatment techniques available to physicians; Reducing wait times and hospital costs, while improving quality of care.
If all goes according to plan, the technology could usher in a new era in cancer treatment and the production of medical isotopes.
Source: Interesting engineering
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