Novel 18F Labeling Strategy for Polyester-Based NPs for in Vivo PET-CT Imaging

Primiano Pio Di Mauro, Vanessa Gómez-Vallejo, Zuriñe Baz Maldonado, Jordi Llop Roig, Salvador Borrós

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Drug-loaded nanocarriers and nanoparticulate systems used for drug release require a careful in vivo evaluation in terms of physicochemical and pharmacokinetic properties. Nuclear imaging techniques such as positron emission tomography (PET) are ideal and noninvasive tools to investigate the biodistribution and biological fate of the nanostructures, but the incorporation of a positron emitter is required. Here we describe a novel approach for the 18F-radiolabeling of polyester-based nanoparticles. Our approach relies on the preparation of the radiolabeled active agent 4-[18F]fluorobenzyl-2-bromoacetamide ([18F]FBBA), which is subsequently coupled to block copolymers under mild conditions. The labeled block copolymers are ultimately incorporated as constituent elements of the NPs by using a modified nano coprecipitation method. This strategy has been applied in the current work to the preparation of peptide-functionalized NPs with potential applications in drug delivery. According to the measurements of particle size and zeta potential, the radiolabeling process did not result in a statistically significant alteration of the physicochemical properties of the NPs. Moreover, radiochemical stability studies showed no detachment of the radioactivity from NPs even at 12 h after preparation. The radiolabeled NPs enabled the in vivo quantification of the biodistribution data in rats using a combination of imaging techniques, namely, PET and computerized tomography (CT). Low accumulation of the nanoparticles in the liver and their elimination mainly via urine was found. The different biodistribution pattern obtained for the "free" radiolabeled polymer suggests chemical and radiochemical integrity of the NPs under investigation. The strategy reported here may be applied to any polymeric NPs containing polymers bearing a nucleophile, and hence our novel strategy may find application for the in vivo and noninvasive investigation of a wide range of NPs. (Figure Presented).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)582-592
Number of pages11
JournalBioconjugate Chemistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2015


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