Bench to Bedside: Chemistry of Health Care

Recent Advances in Microfluidics for Radiochemical Synthesis (#416)

Microfluidic systems have been shown to achieve higher yielding incorporation reactions in shorter reaction times, even employing reduced amounts of chemicals. These features are particularly appealing, and have been demonstrated, in the field of radiolabelling, where positron-emitting nuclides with short half-lives (e.g.: 18F, 11C) are employed. However, despite the great potential shown, the use of this methodology has not reached widespread acceptance in the radiochemical field, due to several important questions that are not yet fully resolved. One challenge is that research in microfluidics has not yet addressed all of the steps in the radiopharmaceutical production process, starting from raw materials and radioactivity, passing to the radiolabelling step and proceeding to the final purification and quality analysis, in order to obtain a radiotracer with high purity standards for the next use (e.g.: imaging). In particular, avenues for efficient purification and analysis in a compact footprint that can be efficiently coupled with microfluidic reaction systems have been scarcely explored to date. Other challenges are related to efficient interfacing to the macro-world needs, and achieving true miniaturization of the overall radiopharmaceutical production system. Finally, several technical issues (e.g.: process repeatability, material interactions, ability to use clinically-relevant levels of radioactivity, radiolysis, and radiopharmaceutical specific activity) need to be rigorously studied. This symposium will focus on recent advances towards the solution of these numerous challenges. Particular importance will be given to novel microscale approaches that might transform the current state of the art and increase the acceptance and use of these technologies in radiochemistry.
Last update: Dec 28, 2015