India develops heavy water to isolate oxygen-18

India develops heavy water to isolate oxygen-18

The unit of the Department of Atomic Energy (DEA), ‘Heavy Water Board’ has developed the technique to isolate oxygen-18 from the air, which would be cheaper to check cancer in the initial phase. A scientist of the board said that the use of the water of oxygen-18 is used to make ‘fluorine-18 glucose’. It is the essential element of early diagnosis of glucose cancer, the latest technology of positron emission tomography (PET). PET testing is quite expensive now, but fluorine-18 glucose will be cheaper in the country, and ultimately the cancer treatment cost will decrease.

The atomic weight of oxygen is usually 16 units. Oxygen-18 is the isotope of which its atomic weight is 18. Water also receives oxygen-18 water naturally, but its volume is deficient. Generally, oxygen-18 water in the water flowing in rivers or other natural water is also found side by side, but separating it is a challenge.

The scientist of the heavy water board told that the oxygen-18 water is imported for cancer testing. Only a few countries in the world have the technology to make such heavy water. When it comes to importing, it costs around one thousand dollars per gram. At the same time, the cost of the oxygen-18 water produced by the board comes to about $ 200 per gram. Thus, it is expected to be cheaper for fluorine-18 glucose and cancer PET check.

Now indigenous heavy water used in the Oxygen-18 is being used as an experiment in the Advance Center for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer of Tata Memorial Center, Navi Mumbai, and its quality is no less than imported glucose.

The heavy water is produced in a plant at Manuguru, Telangana. The production of this water is only a few kilograms, but the production can be increased if needed.

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Arnaud Lefevre

Arnaud Lefevre is the Chief Executive Officer of Dynatom International. Arnaud is in charge of the international development of the business portfolio.