- NorthStar Patented Technology
NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes has access to some of the best and most respected scientists in the chemical separation and isotope production field. Their combined years of researching and developing methods at U.S. Government Laboratories and commercial entities deploying their patents, has led to a portfolio of patents targeted at assuring a solution to safely and cost effectively deliver pure radioisotopes to the medical marketplace.
Early manual radionuclide separation processes required the labor of a nuclear medicine technologist for a period of one to three hours (radioisotope element dependent) and an additional dose preparation time of two to four hours. The automated process created by NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes’ technology, requires only a few minutes of nuclear medicine technologist time to set up the process and then the automated system proceeds to separate the isotopes. Overall the radioisotope processing time is reduced dramatically and because the process is computer controlled and each preparation of the radioisotope is produced with nearly identical chemical and radioactive properties.
Automated processing creates a benefit of reducing the probability of human error and the overall number of defect opportunities, which means consistent production of a uniform product with fewer QC, regulatory, and patient risk concerns that are inherent with any manual production process. This means less labor is required for the purification, dispensing, and dose preparation operations that precede the administration of the patient dose. Economically speaking, a reduction in production costs will occur, along with higher yields and will have an inherent benefit of reduced radiation exposure for the workers.
An extraordinary benefit of the technologies and relationships NNM has with researchers and radioisotope production facilities, creates the opportunity for research and supply of radioisotopes having significantly shorter half-life, with a solution that is simple, repetitive and fast, allowing the nuclear medicine department the ability to effectively plan and execute their daily workload or clinical trials.
The automated radionuclide separator is the crucial first step in the purification process and provides for the removal of any residual contaminants - which creates a purified radioactive material acceptable for use in a human radiopharmaceutical. In many cases, this operation currently takes place at the radioisotope production facility, but as molecular technology evolves, will eventually require a migration to the local nuclear pharmacy. Shorter half-life radioisotopes are being sought for diagnostic and therapeutic treatments since they provide more promising methods of administration and early results are proving a reduction in undesirable radioactive tissue damage. This instrument assures purity and consistency by incorporating a disposable separation module (center of picture on the right). The advantage of computer-controlled operation lends itself to repeatable methods and predictable characteristics during production. The figure provides an understanding of physical size and placement within a laboratory.