JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Microfluidics: a groundbreaking technology for PET tracer production?

Christian Rensch, Alexander Jackson, Simon Lindner, Ruben Salvamoser, Victor Samper, Stefan Riese, Peter Bartenstein, Carmen Wängler, Björn Wängler
Molecules: a Journal of Synthetic Chemistry and Natural Product Chemistry 2013, 18 (7): 7930-56
23884128
Application of microfluidics to Positron Emission Tomography (PET) tracer synthesis has attracted increasing interest within the last decade. The technical advantages of microfluidics, in particular the high surface to volume ratio and resulting fast thermal heating and cooling rates of reagents can lead to reduced reaction times, increased synthesis yields and reduced by-products. In addition automated reaction optimization, reduced consumption of expensive reagents and a path towards a reduced system footprint have been successfully demonstrated. The processing of radioactivity levels required for routine production, use of microfluidic-produced PET tracer doses in preclinical and clinical imaging as well as feasibility studies on autoradiolytic decomposition have all given promising results. However, the number of microfluidic synthesizers utilized for commercial routine production of PET tracers is very limited. This study reviews the state of the art in microfluidic PET tracer synthesis, highlighting critical design aspects, strengths, weaknesses and presenting several characteristics of the diverse PET market space which are thought to have a significant impact on research, development and engineering of microfluidic devices in this field. Furthermore, the topics of batch- and single-dose production, cyclotron to quality control integration as well as centralized versus de-centralized market distribution models are addressed.

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