Technetium-99m in Production and Use
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Several types of generators have been developed for the production of (99m)Tc. Due to its excelent performances, the chromatographic type, based on the fission-produced (99)Mo sorbed in alumina, is predominant. Technetium-99m is obtained in the form of sodium pertechnetate-(99m)Tc. However, due to the known disadvantages of the production of (n, f)(99)Mo, attempts are made to avoid uranium fission. The technologies based on (n, gamma)(99)Mo (sublimation, extraction, gel) are, with the exception of the gel generator, of limited importance. Certain nuclear reactions in cyclotrons can produce (99)Mo (or directly (99m)Tc) but the obtained results are still not satisfying. Technetium-99m is used in the form of radiopharmaceuticals which are prepared by addition of (99m)Tc-eluate to the inactive components comprised in the cold kits. The chromatographic (n, f)(99)Mo/(99m)Tc generator and several (99m)Tc-radiopharmaceuticals have been developed and are regularly produced in the Vinca Institut...e of Nuclear Sciences (Laboratory for Radioisotopes).