Seminar: Medical radioisotopes via reversible gels

Headshot of Dr. Bridges

Dr. Novella Bridges

The Chemistry Department invites you to attend a seminar Thursday, October 9, 11 a.m. in the New Science Building, Room 200. The guest speaker is Dr. Novella Bridges of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.


“Radiogels: Reversible Gels for Delivery of Medical Radioisotopes: Using our RadioGel™ technology, it will be possible to successfully deliver a self-contained high-dose of radiation into a cancerous tumor. This technology will enable the maximum dose of radiation to be absorbed and allow a concise and uniform delivery into the targeted cancer tissue. This delivery system will minimize the radiation dose to the patient and other closely associated healthy tissue that might garner side effects.

“A vital component of the radiogel is a new polymer-based material. This material is biodegradable, water-based and thermally reversible stimulus-sensitive gelling copolymer. This copolymer is combined (in solution) with a high-energy, beta-particle-emitting radioisotope (Yttrium-90) in the form of a colloid. It is the colloid that is trapped within the solidified matrix of the gel that produces the high-dose of radiation.

“This specific work will speak to the preparation and synthesis of the mono-dispersed colloid. By improving on the multi-step synthesis, we were able to increase the yield of our colloid, control the particle size of the colloid thereby allowing it to be evenly dispersed within the polymer solution and more efficiently trapped within the gel matrix. We will also discuss our recent rat animal model study to determine the localization of the radiogel after direct liver injection.”

Dr. Novella Bridges

Dr. Novella Bridges, has worked at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory since 2000. Bridges is a project manager in PNNL’s Applied Statistics and Computational Modeling group. She is currently on a Management and Oversight Detail with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, specifically working in the Non-Intrusive Inspection Division.

While at PNNL, Bridges has worked on projects designed to reduce diesel emissions in vehicles, locomotives and light-weight trucks; improve production of hydrogen for fuel cells and other advanced energy systems; radiochemistry separations and the development of novel catalytic systems used for bio-based products.

Dr. Bridges earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi, and a doctorate in inorganic chemistry from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Bridges is the recipient of several national professional awards and has been heavily involved in advancing K-12 science education.

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