Adsorption of metallic radionuclides on plastic phantom walls

Mi Ae Park, Ashfaq Mahmood, Robert E. Zimmerman, Naengnoi Limpa-Amara, G. Mike Makrigiorgos, Stephen C. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Metal radionuclide solutions at neutral pH adhere to plastic containers. Adsorption of radionuclides on the walls of phantoms leads to a nonuniform activity distribution, which could adversely affect imaging studies, as well as phantom-based validations of absorbed dose calculations used in radioimmunotherapy, requiring accurate knowledge of the underlying activity distribution. In the work reported here, the authors determined the degree of metal chelation required to minimize metallic radionuclide oxide formation and adsorption on phantom walls in order to yield more reliable experimental data for validating image-based dosimetry. Using hollow spherical plastic phantoms, the authors evaluated three different radionuclides, I-131, In-111, and Y-90, in solutions containing three different concentrations of the chelator, ethylenediaminetetraacetate (EDTA). Adsorption to plastic walls was determined using μSPECT imaging and/or by counting aliquots of solutions. Reconstructed images and measurements of I-131 activity showed that it was uniformly distributed within all spheres; however, images of In-111 in 0.25-μM EDTA indicated that the activity concentration near the wall was much higher than that in the middle of the sphere. The decrease in activity concentration near the center of the spheres was ∼47%. Y-90 in 0.25-μM EDTA behaved similarly; the activity concentration of Y-90 decreased by 46%. For an In-111 or Y-90 radioactivity concentration of 0.74 MBq/mL, a 2.5-μM EDTA solution was required to achieve a uniform distribution, suggesting that, under our experimental conditions, ∼700 EDTA molecules were required for each radiometal atom to prevent precipitation and adsorption on poly(methylmethacrylate). For certain radiometals, e.g., In-111 or Y-90, adequate chelation is essential to achieve uniform activity concentration values and homogeneous distribution within the phantom compartments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1606-1610
Number of pages5
JournalMedical physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Internal dosimetry
  • Plastic phantom
  • Radioactivity distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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