April 23, 2014 11:39 am

Cyclotron arrives at the University of Saskatchewan

Roughly the size of a small car, the heart of Saskatchewan’s cyclotron facility arrived at the University of Saskatchewan on Tuesday.

File / Global News

SASKATOON – A significant milestone was marked at the University of Saskatchewan as the heart of Saskatchewan’s cyclotron facility arrived on Tuesday.

The magnet is roughly the size of a small car and is the largest piece of the facility.

A crane lifted it into place inside a vault with concrete walls 2.5 metres thick.

It’s expected to be hooked up by fall, at which time it can begin producing radio-isotopes used by PET-CT scanners to monitor cancer patients and determine treatment.

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“The PET CT scanner that’s currently being used at RUH … get their supply of isotopes from Ontario and so with the cyclotron here producing isotopes, that will allow us to produce the isotope locally,” said Matthew Dalzell with the Sylvia Fedoruk Centre for Nuclear Innovation.

“The Cyclotron Facility will build upon Saskatchewan’s pioneering work in nuclear medicine and adds to our cluster of cutting-edge imaging technology, providing unparalleled opportunities for research into plants, animals and humans,” added Karen Chad, vice president of research at the university.

The cyclotron is a particle accelerator that produces radioisotopes by bombarding target materials with high-energy protons.

The facility, worth $25 million, will be fully functional by October 2015.

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