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Developing radiation stable and selective surface interactions for direct Bi-213 generators

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Effective cancer treatment strategies remain a global challenge. Targeted alpha therapy (TAT) with Bi-213 as alpha emitter, bound to a targeting carrier molecule, has emerged as a promising approach, offering cytotoxic effects on cancer cells while minimizing damage to healthy tissue. However, the practical application is hindered by the lack of selective and radiation and acid stable sorbent materials to separate Bi-213 from its parent nuclide Ac-225, necessitating innovative approaches for improved Ac-225/Bi-213 separation materials (known as Bi-213 generators). This project aims to develop a radiation stable (11MGy) and selective sorbent material for direct Bi-213 generators (favoring Ac-225 sorption and eluting Bi-213 with < 1ppm impurities and with a yield above 85%) by utilizing an inorganic titania backbone, surface-modified with phosphonic acids, carboxylic acids and/or sulfonic acids. The impact of each functional group on selective Ac-225 sorption will be systematically investigated to optimize separation efficiency. Additionally, strategies to enhance radiation stability and minimize non-selective sorption of Bi-213 will be explored. By addressing these challenges, this research seeks to contribute to improved cancer treatment outcomes.

The minimum diploma level of the candidate needs to be

  • Master of sciences

The candidate needs to have a background in

  • Chemistry

Estimated duration

4 years

Expert group


SCK CEN Mentor

Leysen Pieter
Pieter.Leysen [at]
+32 (0)14 338210

SCK CEN Co-mentor

Maertens Dominic
dominic.maertens [at]
+32 (0)14 33 32 69


Meynen Vera
vera.meynen [at]


Cardinaels Thomas
thomas.cardinaels [at]