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Radiopharmacology is the study and production of radioactive pharmaceuticals or radiopharmaceuticals. They are administrated intravenously, targeting specific organs, tissues, or cells within the human body. Radiopharmaceuticals are used to diagnose and treat brain and cardiovascular diseases and many types of cancer.

Radiopharmaceuticals contain small amounts of radioactive isotopes (radioisotopes), which are produced by irradiating a specific target inside a nuclear research reactor or in a particle accelerator, such as a cyclotron. Cyclotrons use inert gases such as nitrogen, argon, neon, and helium in addition to highly flammable and hazardous gases such as hydrogen, deuterium, methane, propane, ammonia, and fluorine. Ultra-high purity gases are used in beam analysis while safeguards against radioactive contamination are required.

When an uninterrupted gas supply is not critical, the CONCOA 432 Series 316L stainless steel, dual stage regulator installed with an isolation valve on the outlet side provides primary pressure control. A 316L stainless steel diaphragm eliminates contamination from diffusion or outgassing. Combined with a 529 Series protocol station or protocol alarm station enables convenient wall mounting or connection to multiple high-pressure cylinders. For gases requiring continuous delivery, the CONCOA 527 Series pressure differential switchover may be used. This 316L stainless steel switchover provides a continuous supply of gas at constant pressure and flows safely and efficiently from two separate banks of high-pressure cylinders. Gases being delivered into the laboratory or cyclotron vault require a 54 Series point-of-use panel with 445 Series, 316L stainless steel, single-stage regulators installed with isolation valves on the outlet side.

The unique properties of flammable, high-purity, or hazardous gases, along with the potential for radiation from isotope generation, demand robust materials of construction and safety devices for the gas delivery system. Fluorine, a highly reactive gas, requires gas delivery components that have been passivated to eliminate reactions with system components. To prevent the possible backflow of radioactive material to the gas source, a 532 Series high-purity check valve installed on the downstream side of hazardous or inert gas systems is required. In addition, a 532 Series flashback arrestor installed on the downstream side of all flammable gas systems is needed to prevent the transmission of flame as well as the possible reverse flow of radioactive material in the supply line.

For safe handling and storage, CONCOA recommends a custom integrated gas cabinet system configured with automated safety control features for high purity, flammable, or hazardous gases, including gas detection and remote alarm in the cabinet. In addition to safety control features inside the gas cabinet system, connecting each gas source to a 585 emergency shut-off controller will automatically shut down gas flow in case of an elevated fire risk. The emergency shut-off controller can be activated with safety devices such as a 580 Series flammable gas detector, a 585 Series emergency stop button, or 586 Series emergency shut-off valves placed anywhere from the gas source to the point-of-use.

CONCOA is committed to providing high purity gas delivery systems necessary as new ways to produce and deliver radiopharmaceuticals continue to emerge.(.pdf)

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