Research

The last years have shown increasing use of metallic radioisotopes for medical applications; such as diagnostic tests in oncology, neurology, or cardiology with positron and gamma emitters, and the exploitation of the radiation effect of alpha and beta emitters for radiation therapy. The fabrication of the radioactive compounds (radiopharmaceuticals) that are used for these tasks consists of several steps:

  • Production of radioisotopes
  • Separation of radioisotopes from materials that are needed in the production process
  • Chemical synthesis of radiopharmaceuticals

In the laboratory for nuclear chemistry we work currently on several research projects that aim to optimize already applied production and synthesis methods, but we also aim to develop new production possibilities and new radiopharmaceuticals. 

A special focus lies hereby on microfluidic techniques, where separation and synthesis processes are done in channels with micrometer dimensions. The small size of the channels has several advantages that can be exploited for the work with radioisotopes: optimized heat and mass transport, improved reaction control, less radiolysis, and smaller volumes. Additionally, microfluidic systems allow for easy determination of physical constants (e.g. diffusion constants, kinetic rate constants of chemical reactions) that help to understand and improve separation and synthesis processes. 

Please contact Elisabeth Oehlke for informations about possible bachelor and master projects: oehlke(at)fh-aachen.de.

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