New Microreactor Technology
December 16, 2005, “This Week in Science” reports a Microreactor technology with potential for optimizing synthetic efficiency, particularly in preparing highly sensitive radioactive compounds for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. This will allow the efficient synthesis and easy accessibility of radiotracers at the nuclear medicine imaging test site, and with minimal radiation exposure and significantly reduced radioactive waste generation. A team of UCLA scientists led by Dr. Hsian-Rong Tseng, in a five sequential process, achieved the synthesis of an [18F]fluoride-radiolabeled molecular imaging probe, commonly known as [18F]fluoro-deoxy-glucose ([18F]FDG), in an integrated microfluidic device. These results, which constitute a proof of principle for automated multistep syntheses at the nanogram to microgram scale, could be generalized to a range of radiolabeled substrates.