TPU commissioned a unique production of orthophosphoric acid based on phosphorus-32

Tomsk Polytechnic University began commercial supply of orthophosphoric acid based on phosphorus-32 isotope, which is used for biochemical study, diagnostics and therapy of cancer diseases. A production line was commissioned at the site of the university nuclear reactor. To date, it is the only production in Russia. Prior to its launch in Tomsk, Russian consumers, particularly scientific research and medical centers, were forced to purchase phosphorus-32 abroad.



The radioactive isotope phosphorus-32 is actively used for biochemical study. It is embedded in nucleic acids, which are involved in all metabolic processes in living organisms and replace stable phosphorus-31. As phosphorus-32 is a beta emitter, its movement can be traced within the body via modern imaging technology. If it accumulates excessively in an organ, then it indicates the violation of metabolic processes.


Phosphorus-32 is also directly applied for radiation therapy. A radiopharmaceutical on its basis is introduced into the body of patients in the form of solution, suspension or granules that are absorbed by the body. The isotope accumulating in certain organs irradiates affected cells minimally affecting healthy tissues. The only production of this substance was closed down in Russia in 2012. While the demand for phosphorus-32 is constantly growing from biologists and physicians.


‘We produce orthophosphoric acid based on phosphorus-32 (H3P32O4). It is used to synthesize nucleotides applied in biochemical study and synthesis of drugs. The first batches have already been supplied to customers: the Institute of Chemical Biology and Fundamental Medicine SB RAS (Novosibirsk) and the Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry (Moscow).  


According to the customers, our products are superior in quality to their foreign counterparts in all characteristics, i.e. radiochemical and radionuclide purity and mole activity,’

says Igor Shamanin, the chair of the Department of Technical Physics.


TPU supplies small batches of 4-5 gigabecquerels per month, the capacity of the entire production line is approximately 100 gigabecquerels per month.


According to the scientists, foreign customers are already interested in orthophosphoric acid produced in Tomsk.