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Radiochimica Acta

International Journal for chemical aspects of nuclear science and technology

Ed. by Qaim, Syed M.

12 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR 2014: 1.014
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.226
Rank 16 out of 34 in category Nuclear Science & Technology in the 2014 Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Report/Science Edition

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2014: 0.449
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2014: 0.782
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2014: 1.187



Polymersomes as nano-carriers to retain harmful recoil nuclides in alpha radionuclide therapy: a feasibility study

L. Thijssen1 / D. R. Schaart2 / D. de Vries3 / A. Morgenstern4 / F. Bruchertseifer5 / A. G. Denkova*

1 Delft University of Technology, Radiation, Radionuclides and Reactors, JB Delft, Niederlande

2 Delft University of Technology, Radiation, Radionuclides and Reactors, JB Delft, Niederlande

3 Delft University of Technology, Radiation, Radionuclides and Reactors, JB Delft, Niederlande

4 European Comission, Joint Research Centre, Karlsruhe, Deutschland

5 European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Karlsruhe, Deutschland

* Correspondence address: Delft University of Technology, Radiation, Radionuclides and Reactors, Mekelweg 15, 2629 JB Delft, Niederlande,

Citation Information: Radiochimica Acta International journal for chemical aspects of nuclear science and technology. Volume 100, Issue 7, Pages 473–482, ISSN (Print) 2193-3405 , DOI: 10.1524/ract.2012.1935, January 2012

Publication History

Published Online:


Targeted alpha therapy has shown promising pre-clinical and clinical results in the fight against cancer. The use of in vivo generators, generating a highly cytotoxic cascade of alpha particles, is attracting increasing interest for clinical application. 225Ac is one of the nuclides that can serve as an in vivo generator. It is commercially available and provides four alpha particles with a total energy of 28 MeV per 225Ac decay. However, its alpha emitting daughter nuclides may escape from the target region due to recoil and cause unwanted toxicity in other parts of the body. In this paper, we investigate the feasibility of designing spherical, block-copolymer based nano-carriers (polymersomes) to retain the recoiling daughter nuclides. A Monte Carlo code, called NANVES, has been developed to simulate the range distributions of recoil atoms in different materials and to determine the optimum nano-carriers design. Recoil ranges in planar polystyrene films were determined experimentally and compared to simulations of the experiment, indicating that NANVES may provide accurate results. Simulations of various nano-carriers designs indicate that double-layered polymersomes with a diameter of 800 nm are capable of completely retaining the first daughter nuclide 221Fr, while the escape fraction of the third radioactive daughter 213Bi is reduced to 20% and the percentage of alpha particles emitted from escaped daughter products outside the nano-carriers is less than 10%.

Keywords: alpha radionuclide therapy; recoil retention; polymersomes

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