3D-printed automation for optimized PET radiochemistry

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  13 Sep 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 9, eaax4762
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aax4762


Reproducible batch synthesis of radioligands for imaging by positron emission tomography (PET) in a manner that maximizes ligand yield, purity, and molar activity, and minimizes cost and exposure to radiation, remains a challenge, as new and synthetically complex radioligands become available. Commercially available automated synthesis units (ASUs) solve many of these challenges but are costly to install and cannot always accommodate diverse chemistries. Through a reiterative design process, we exploit the proliferation of three-dimensional (3D) printing technologies to translate optimized reaction conditions into ASUs composed of 3D-printed, electronic, and robotic parts. Our units are portable and robust and reduce radiation exposure, shorten synthesis time, and improve the yield of the final radiopharmaceutical for a fraction of the cost of a commercial ASU. These 3D-printed ASUs highlight the gains that can be made by designing a fit-for-purpose ASU to accommodate a synthesis over accommodating a synthesis to an unfit ASU.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Advances