Rapid and automated production of [68Ga]gallium chloride and [68Ga] Ga-DOTA-TATE on a medical cyclotron

William Tieu, Courtney A. Hollis, Kevin Kuan, Prab Takhar, Mick Stuckings, N. Spooner, M. Malinconico

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The demand for Gallium-68 (68Ga) for labelling PET radiopharmaceuticals has increased over the past few years. 68Ga is obtained through the decayed parent radionuclide 68Ge using commercial 68Ge/68Ga generators. The principal limitation of commercial 68Ge/68Ga generators is that only a limited and finite quantity of 68Ga (<1.85 GBq at start of synthesis) may be accessed. The focus of this study was to investigate the use of a low energy medical cyclotron for the production of greater quantities of 68Ga and to develop an automated and rapid procedure for processing the product. Methods: Enriched ZnCl2 was electrodeposited on a platinum backing using a NH4Cl (pH 2–4) buffer. The Zn target was irradiated with GE PETtrace 880 at 35 μA and 14.5 and 12.0 MeV beam energy. The irradiated Zn target was purified using octanol resin on an automated system. Results: Following the described procedure, 68Ga was obtained in 6.30 ± 0.42 GBq after 8.5 min bombardment and with low radionuclidic impurities (66Ga (<0.005%) and 67Ga (<0.09%)). Purification on a single octanol resin gave 82% recovery with resulting [68Ga]GaCl3 obtained in 3.5 mL of 0.2 M HCl. [68Ga]GaCl3 production from irradiation to final product was <45 min. To highlight the utility of the automated procedure, [68Ga]Ga-DOTA-TATE labelling was incorporated to give 1.56 GBq at EOS of the labelled peptide with RCY of >70%. Conclusions: A straightforward procedure for producing 68Ga on a low energy medical cyclotron was described. Current efforts are focus on high activity production and radiolabelling using solid target produced 68Ga.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-18
Number of pages7
JournalNuclear Medicine and Biology
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Jul 2019


  • Cyclotron
  • Ga-68
  • PET
  • Solid targetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research

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