Radiopharmaceutical Production. Cyclotron Operations. STOP. The cyclotron is typically the core of the radiopharmaceutical production facility. If the cyclotron is not functioning, all other operations stop.
Although the cyclotron was invented more than 70 years ago, the basic components are the same now as they were then.
The technology has improved to the point where these are very reliable machines and can be run with a basic understanding of the underlying principles
History of the Cyclotron
Basic Operation of the Cyclotron
Commercial CyclotronsCyclotron Operations
►See a video by IBA about the cyclotron
The cyclotron was developed in the 1930’s in Berkeley, California by E.O. Lawerence. His idea was to use a magnetic field to constrain a charged particle to a circular path and use the same acceleration voltage over and over again to add more energy.
The number of cyclotrons in the world is growing at a very rapid pace. In 2000 there were about 350 world-wide and in 2008, it was estimated that the number had grown to nearly 600. The expansion of clinical PET using FDG played and important role in that growth.
If you wish to learn more about the history, here is a presentation on the history of the cyclotron.