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Remote-control closed system invented for inserting radio-active atoms inside fullerenes
Date:7/7/2009

n further purified by passage through a column that traps the empty-cage fullerenes. The resulting liquid is evaporated and hydroxyl atoms are attached to the molecules so they will be soluble in biofluids.

All of the steps of the process are managed remotely and the purified product is decanted into a shielded container.

Dorn and Duchamp have used non-radioactive Lu to produce the trimetallic nitride endohedral metallofullerenes (Lu3N@C80) in other words, three atoms of Lu attached to a nitrogen atom inside an 80-atom carbon molecule cage. Once the apparatus is at VCU, Fatouros will use isotope 177Lu, which is used to treat cancer. Although other details need to be worked out, Dorn is confident the generator will work just as well with the radiolabeled product and will produce (177Lu3N@C80).

It all takes less than a day, which is important because 177Lu has a half life of six and one-half days. "So we can't take 30 days to make the product," said Duchamp.

It will be the first time that 177Lu has been encapsulated in a fullerene and the first time any radioactive metal has been encapsulated under remote control with direct purification to a pure product.

"The advantage of the metal cage is we can control where it goes biologically," Dorn said.

"We believe it will mean fewer side effects with better targeted localization, but that remains to be tested," said Fatouros.

"Another advantage is we can deliver other materials inside the fullerene with the 177Lu such as a targeting agent (interleukin-13) and an MRI contrast agent," said Dorn.

Creation of such a multi-modality material for use on brain tumors is a specific goal of Fatouros and Dorn's NCI-funded research project, "Metallofullerene imaging and targeting of glioma." "The MRI agent lets you see where you are going and the 177Lu lets you treat an exact region," said Dorn. "The imaging ability also lets you see if the tumor is shrinking
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Contact: Susan Trulove
STrulove@vt.edu
540-231-5646
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert  

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