Microfluidic reactor for the radiosynthesis of PET radiotracers

J M Gillies, C Prenant, G N Chimon, G J Smethurst, W Perrie, I Hamblett, B Dekker, J Zweit
Applied Radiation and Isotopes 2006, 64 (3): 325-32
Here we show the first application of a microfabricated reaction system to PET radiochemistry, we term "microfluidic PET". The short half-life of the positron emitting isotopes and the trace chemical quantities used in radiolabelling make PET radiochemistry amenable to miniaturisation. Microfluidic technologies are capable of controlling and transferring tiny quantities of liquids which allow chemical and biochemical assays to be integrated and carried out on a small scale. Such technologies provide distinct advantages over current methods of PET radiochemical synthesis. To demonstrate "proof of principle" we have investigated the radiohalogenation of small and large molecular weight molecules using the microfluidic device. These reactions involved the direct radioiodination of the apoptosis marker Annexin V using iodine-124, the indirect radioiodination of the anti-cancer drug doxorubicin from a tin-butyl precursor and the radiosynthesis of 2-[(18)F]FDG from a mannose triflate precursor and fluorine-18 and hence provide a test bed for microfluidic reactions. We demonstrate the rapid radioiodination of the protein Annexin V (40% radiochemical yield within 1 min) and the rapid radiofluorination of 2-[(18)F]FDG (60% radiochemical yield within 4s) using a polymer microreactor chip. Chromatographic analysis showed that the labelling efficiency of the unoptimised microfluidic chip is comparable to conventional PET radiolabelling reactions.

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