Production of Mass-Separated Erbium-169 Towards the First Preclinical in vitro Investigations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Zeynep Talip
  • Francesca Borgna
  • Cristina Müller
  • Jiri Ulrich
  • Charlotte Duchemin
  • Thierry Stora
  • Ulli Köster
  • Youcef Nedjadi
  • Vadim Maratovich Gadelshin
  • Valentin N. Fedosseev
  • Frederic Juget
  • Claude J. Bailat
  • Adelheid Fankhauser
  • Shane Wilkins
  • Laura Lambert
  • Bruce A Marsh
  • Dmitry Fedorov
  • Eric Chevallay
  • Pascal Fernier
  • Roger Schibli
  • Nicholas P. van der Meulen

Institutes & Expert groups

  • ETHZ - Eidgenösslsche Technische Hochshule Zürich
  • PSI - Paul Scherrer Institute
  • CERN - Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire
  • ILL - Institut Laue Langevin
  • IRA - Institute of Radiation Physics, University Hospital of Lausanne
  • JGU - Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz - Institut für Physik
  • PNPI - Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute
  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Documents & links



The β−-particle-emitting erbium-169 is a potential radionuclide toward therapy of metastasized cancer diseases. It can be produced in nuclear research reactors, irradiating isotopically-enriched 168Er2O3. This path, however, is not suitable for receptor-targeted radionuclide therapy, where high specific molar activities are required. In this study, an electromagnetic isotope separation technique was applied after neutron irradiation to boost the specific activity by separating 169Er from 168Er targets. The separation efficiency increased up to 0.5% using resonant laser ionization. A subsequent chemical purification process was developed as well as activity standardization of the radionuclidically pure 169Er. The quality of the 169Er product permitted radiolabeling and pre-clinical studies. A preliminary in vitro experiment was accomplished, using a 169Er-PSMA-617, to show the potential of 169Er to reduce tumor cell viability.


Original languageEnglish
Article number643175
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2021


  • Er-169, Electromagnetic isotope separation, Lanthanide-separation, Activity standardization, In vitro studies, Laser resonance ionization

ID: 7176228