Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

William R. Hamel

Committee Members

Kivanc Ekici, G.V. Smith


Molecular imaging is becoming an important contributor to the development of personalized medicine. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a technology that enables molecular imaging by allowing a physician to detect and map the location of various physiological processes. The purpose of this work is to design, fabricate and test a mechanism that would make the production of the PET isotope, copper-64 practical for both researchers and commercial suppliers. In order to have the maximum usefulness, the design needs to fit and operate within several constraints. A one dimensional thermal analysis indicated that operation of the system under existing cooling conditions would be a reasonable solution. Based on the design specifications, a detailed design was completed and fabricated. The design was functionally and operationally tested with the performance meeting expectations. The design was utilized to produce copper-64 isotope with a typical one hour bombardment producing 30 mCi of isotope. The design could be optimized if future isotope demand exceeded current production capacity or if research required the production of other radioisotopes with varying thermal characteristics.

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