Category: Other News Items

HST 565 Fall 2020 has started

Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology course “medical imaging sciences and applications” for Fall 2020 starts September 1st. See the course page for details This course covers the biophysical, biomedical, mathematical and instrumentation basics of positron emission tomography (PET), x-ray and computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), single photon emission tomography (SPECT), optical imaging and […]

Radiochemists Produce Hand Sanitizer to Meet Hospital Demand

In response to a shortage of hand sanitizer, pharmacists and chemists from the Gordon Center for Medical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital have converted our PET production lab into a facility to produce pump bottles of hand sanitizer.

Radiochemist making hand sanitizer

The group delivered its first batch, 19 bottles, of the ethanol-based product to Mass General’s Environmental Services Department last week. With a projected total production of 4,000 bottles, they hope to create enough sanitizer to meet the hospital’s demand for the next two weeks, says Daniel Yokell, PharmD, associate director of Radiopharmacy and Regulatory Affairs in the Gordon Center in the Department of Radiology.

“I heard about the shortage, and I thought, we have all the infrastructure, the people and the bandwidth to produce this product,” says Yokell.

The 10-member team—which worked closely with staff in materials management, nursing and environmental services—followed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) policy for “Temporary Compounding of Certain Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Products During the Public Health Emergency,” using 80% ethanol, glycerin, hydrogen peroxide and sterile water, to produce their first batch. “It was like we were back in pharmacy school, compounding creams and lotions. It’s just a different use of the materials we have on hand—and our skill sets,” says Yokell.

After clearance by Mass General safety and hospital compliance, the next step was bottling the solution using sterile and safe methods, then bottling the product into hand pump containers.

Radiopharmacist delivering sanitizer bottles

“This is a great conversion success story, where Dan and his staff used their know-how to make something essential in the fight against COVID-19,” says Georges El Fakhri, PhD, DABR, director of the Gordon Center.

The group is now working on its next production run. With 3,000 bottles and hand pumps scheduled to be delivered this week, Yokell is confident the group can meet Mass General’s demand for hand sanitizer in the short term. “Two weeks ago, demand was 45 bottles a day,” he says. “Our goal is to double that amount and backfill what is needed. We want to produce enough to be sufficient for hand hygiene for the whole hospital.”

James Brink, MD, radiologist-in-chief, says, “I’m so pleased and proud that our radiochemistry team was able to apply their talents so effectively to produce a product that is vital in our fight against COVID-19. They needed to think creatively and retool their operation completely, and they did so in a very thoughtful and efficient way.”

This story was originally published on 03/30/2020 on the Mass General Hospital website. Link to article

50 Years of PET Imaging History Meets the Future

Fifty years after the installation of the first cyclotron at MGH, the Gordon Center perpetuates the PET imaging research tradition of the hospital with the support of two generations of researchers including some of the earliest pioneers who are still working at our center.

FDA Approves First Use of Tracer-QC at Gordon Center

Radiopharmaceutical company Trace-Ability, Inc. announced that the FDA has approved the first use of its solution, Tracer-QC, for release testing Ammonia N-13 Injection at the MGH Gordon Center PET Core. Tracer-QC automates the positron emission tomography (PET) tracer release testing process, which the company says is known for its complexity. “Despite the clear value of […]

Research Agreement Signed with Cerveau Technologies

Cerveau Technologies Inc. signed an agreement with the MGH Gordon Center to support multiple projects over the next several years. These research projects are for studies of an early stage imaging agent (MK-6240) to be used in Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans for assessing the status and progression of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in the brain. NFTs made up of aggregated tau protein are a hallmark of several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease.

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