Background: Due to the suitable nuclear decay characteristics, 177Lu is an attractive radionuclide for various therapeutic applications. The non-carrier added form of 177Lu has drawn many attention because of its high specific activity needed in radiolabeling studies. There have been several separation methods for NCA 177Lu production.
Objectives: Among the various separation methods, the electro-amalgamation separation method has got a large potential for large scale production. Li presence is a significant problem in this separation method, which seriously affects the radiolabeling efficiency.
Method: In this study, Li was separated from the final product of electro-amalgamation separation by adding an ion-exchange chromatography column to the separation process.
Results: NCA 177Lu was obtained by 84.09% ELM separation yield, 99.9% radionuclide purity and, 65 Ci/g specific activity. Then, 177Lu (177LuCl3 chemical form) was separated from Li using the ion exchange chromatography method by a separation yield of 94%. The obtained results of the radiolabeling efficacy studies showed that the radiochemical purity and radio-complex stability were significantly increased by separating of NCA 177Lu from Li.
Conclusion: This new separation setup consisting of two steps allows using 177Lu of such a favorable quality for labeling studies.