Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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Diagnostic ImagingNuclear medicineParticles acceleratorRadionuclidesRadiotherapy


The invention concerns the production of Cu-67, a radionuclide of interest in nuclear medicine for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. In particular, a method for the production of Cu-67 using proton beams, produced by cyclotron, in the 70-10 MeV energy range, has been developed; and a target that uses two different isotopes of Zinc, which allow to maximize the production yield of Cu-67 and to minimize that of Cu-64, its main contaminant, has been designed.

Technical features

In the last period there was an important increase of interest for Cu-67, thanks to its potential use in teranostics to select patients with a diagnostic investigation before subjecting them to therapy. The current production method of the radionuclide Cu-67, which provides Zn-68 targets irradiation, limits a wide and widespread use because it allows a low production of Cu-67 and the co-production, in large quantities, of the unwanted Cu-64 contaminant. The present invention provides a method able of maximizing the Cu67 / Cu64 production ratio allowing to have high amounts of Cu-67 and a lower content of Cu-64. This is achieved by irradiating with proton beams in the energy range 70-10 MeV, innovative targets composed of Zn-70 and Zn-68, characterized by suitable thicknesses and arranged in a predetermined configuration.

Possible Applications

  • Diagnostic Imaging and Therapy;
  • Industrial production of radionuclides for medical applications;
  • Development of high-power targets and ad hoc cooling systems;
  • Development of automatic module for radiochemical separation and purification.


  • Maximum Cu-67 production;
  • Minimum Cu-64 production;
  • Only one radiochemical procedure for target processing.