Nuclear Medicine

Cyclotron production of radioisotopes


The radioisotope Technetium-99m (Tc-99m) is used in ~80% of nuclear imaging diagnostic tests worldwide.  However, since 2009 there have been significant disruptions in the supply of Tc-99m due to unanticipated shutdowns of the two main nuclear reactors producing Mo-99 (the precursor of Tc-99m). 

Most of the worldwide supply of Mo-99 originates from two nuclear reactors the National Research Universal (NRU) in Canada and the High Flux Reactor (HFR) in Netherlands. These reactors are 50 years old, use Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU), have experienced many operational issues including unplanned shutdowns, and both will shut down permanently soon. The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) seeks to minimize HEU production worldwide in the hope of minimizing the availability of weapons-grade material and it considers the availability of Tc-99m a national priority.

We have analyzed the use cyclotrons, instead of reactors, to directly produce Tc-99m (no Mo-99 intermediary). This direct production of Tc-99m from Mo-100 using a cyclotron has been well researched but has not yet been commercialized. Based on the research, the isotopic purity levels will meet the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) specifications and imaging effectiveness will be similar. Discussions with the FDA have been very encouraging. Due to the short half-life of Tc-99m, cyclotron facilities have to be located near an existing radiopharmacy, and a large population center (> 2 million people) is needed to justify a cyclotron solution. Cyclotron facilities could supply the produced Tc-99m to local radiopharmacies who will then use their existing distribution network to deliver it to local hospitals. The world will finally have an alternative, local, on-demand, reliable, and cheaper source for Tc-99m.

Cleantech Open 2014

NMR Water Monitoring


Low-level arsenic contamination of drinking water in Bangladesh, India, and parts of China presents an international public health crisis, with over 300,000 deaths attributed to chronic poisoning in Bangladesh alone. The World Health Organization has set a guideline of 10 ppb arsenic in drinking water.

Additionally, in 2017 the electronics chip fabrication facilities will begin the III-V CMP etching process that will produce 200-1000 gallons/minute of arsenic-contaminated water. The process fabs do not currently make a real time waste water measurement. 


NMR


Quantal Technology developed an advanced water monitoring detector based on Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) that, unlike the competition, operates in real-time without reagents and is simple to use. 


Solar Energy
in Pakistan


According to International Energy Agency statistics, Pakistan derives its electricity primarily from natural gas (36%), hydroelectric (32%) and oil (29%), and zero from solar or wind.  Also, over two-thirds of Pakistan’s crude oil is imported, and electricity demand is estimated to grow by 8% annually resulting in 20 GW of supply needing to be added by 2020.  Pakistan’s Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) estimates there is 2,900 GW of solar potential in Pakistan.

Quantal Technology (in its previous form as Innovative Energy Concepts LLC) was directly involved in supporting the domestic development of solar energy capabilities in Pakistan. IEC was instrumental in obtaining funding for a team at the University of Engineering & Technology in Taxila to prepare a feasibility study for solar power in Pakistan, followed by a joint proposal to further develop an indigenous solar energy R&D program and commercialization platform.