Fast 18F labeling of a near-infrared fluorophore enables positron emission tomography and optical imaging of sentinel lymph nodes

Richard Ting, Todd A. Aguilera, Jessica L. Crisp, David J. Hall, William C. Eckelman, David R. Vera, Roger Y. Tsien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Scopus citations


We combine a novel boronate trap for F- with a near-infrared fluorophore into a single molecule. Attachment to targeting ligands enables localization by positron emission tomography (PET) and near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF). Our first application of this generic tag is to label Lymphoseek (tilmanocept), an agent designed for receptor-specific sentinel lymph node (SLN) mapping. The new conjugate incorporates 18F- in a single, aqueous step, targets mouse SLN rapidly (1 h) with reduced distal lymph node accumulation, permits PET or scintigraphic imaging of SLN, and enables NIRF-guided excision and histological verification even after 18F decay. This embodiment is superior to current SLN mapping agents such as nontargeted [99mTc]sulfur colloids and Isosulfan Blue, as well as the phase III targeted ligand [99mTc]SPECT Lymphoseek counterpart, species that are visible by SPECT or visible absorbance separately. Facile incorporation of 18F into a NIRF probe should promote many synergistic PET and NIRF combinations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1811-1819
Number of pages9
JournalBioconjugate Chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 20 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Organic Chemistry

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