The team leveraged UC Berkeley High Flux Neutron Generator (HFNG) to produce medical isotopes for diagnosing and treating cancer. These isotopes are cost effective, highly suited for customized oncological treatments, and will also close a gap in the medical supply chain that will be caused by the decommissioning of nuclear reactors.
Team: Kelsae Adame, Grace Bailey, Alex Clithero, Morgan Fox, Han Lee, Josh McCumber, Josh Rothman, Mitchell Sinclair
Advisor: Dr. Karl van Bibber and Dr. Lee Bernstein
Although one in three cancer patients in the U.S. is diagnosed or treated using medical radioisotopes, these procedures are dependent on a handful of aging nuclear reactors, which are at their end of life. We at Sanatomics are leveraging the capability of UC Berkeley’s High Flux Neutron Generator to introduce a specialized means of isotope production. Our technology can produce isotopes that are cost effective, better-suited to customized treatments, and capable of filling the coming gap in the medical supply chain.
- Deuterium-Deuterium (DD) fusion, and not fission, generates neutrons
- Neutron nuclear reactions create cancer relevant radioisotopes
- The radioisotopes are placed in tumors and give off energy to destroy cancer cells
Exceeding Supply Expectations
The HFNG’s unique capability sets it apart from reactors and allows for the creation of the sparse but extremely valuable 225Ac alpha therapeutic. Just 6 generators could meet the entire country’s 225Ac annual demand for the treatment of prevalent prostate cancers.
*Sanatomics was 2018 winner of the Fung Institute Alumni Award the Best Promotional Video. This award honors a team that produces the most creative, intellectually-rich, and engaging video.
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