Copper Loading of Preformed Nanoparticles for PET-Imaging Applications

Hoang D. Lu, Leon Z. Wang, Brian K. Wilson, Simon A. McManus, Jenny Jumai'An, Prashanth K. Padakanti, Abass Alavi, Robert H. Mach, Robert K. Prud'Homme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Nanoparticles (NP) are promising contrast agents for positron emission tomography (PET) radionuclide imaging that can increase signal intensity by localizing clusters of PET radionuclides together. However, methods to load NPs with PET radionuclides suffer from harsh loading conditions or poor loading efficacies or result in NP surface modifications that alter targeting in vivo. We present the formation of water-dispersible, polyethylene glycol coated NPs that encapsulate phthalocyanines into NP cores at greater than 50 wt % loading, using the self-assembly technique Flash NanoPrecipitation. Particles from 70 to 160 nm are produced. Phthalocyanine NPs rapidly and spontaneously chelate metals under mild conditions and can act as sinks for PET radionuclides such as 64-Cu to produce PET-active NPs. NPs chelate copper(II) with characteristic rates of 1845 M-1 h-1 at pH 6 and 37 °C, which produced >90% radionuclide chelation within 1 h. NP physical properties, such as core composition, core fluidity, and size, can be tuned to modulate chelation kinetics. These NPs retain 64Cu even in the presence of the strong chelator ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid. The development of these constructs for rapid and facile radionuclide labeling expands the applications of NP-based PET imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3191-3199
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 31 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science


  • chelation
  • copper
  • imaging
  • nanoparticle
  • positron emission tomography


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