The cyclotron production and nuclear imaging of bromine-77

Eduardo Galiano, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


In this investigation, bromine-77 was produced with a medical cyclotron and imaged with gamma cameras. Br-77 emits a 240 kev photon with a half life of 56 hours. The C-Br bond is stronger than the C-I bond and bromine is not collected in the thyroid. Bromine can be used to label many organic molecules by methods analogous to radioiodination. The only North American source of Br-77 in the 70's and 80's was Los Alamos National Laboratory, but it discontinued production in 1989. In this method, a p,3n reaction on Br-77 produces Kr-77 which decays with a 1.2 hour half life to Br-77. A cyclotron generated 40 MeV proton beam is incident on a nearly saturated NaBr or LiBr solution contained in a copper or titanium target. A cooling chamber through which helium gas is flowed separates the solution from the cyclotron beam line. Helium gas is also flowed through the solution to extract Kr-77 gas. The mixture flows through a nitrogen trap where Kr-77 freezes and is allowed to decay to Br-77. Eight production runs were performed, three with a copper target and five with a titanium target with yields of 40, 104, 180, 679, 1080, 685, 762 and 118 uCi respectively. Gamma ray spectroscopy has shown the product to be very pure, however corrosion has been a major obstacle, causing the premature retirement of the copper target. Phantom and in-vivo rat nuclear images, and an autoradiograph in a rat are presented. The quality of the nuclear scans is reasonable and the autoradiograph reveals high isotope uptake in the renal parenchyma, a more moderate but uniform uptake in pulmonary and hepatic tissue, and low soft tissue uptake. There is no isotope uptake in the brain or the gastric mucosa.

Subject Area

Radiology|Nuclear physics|Nuclear physics

Recommended Citation

Galiano, Eduardo, "The cyclotron production and nuclear imaging of bromine-77" (1994). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9520976.