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Integrated microfluidic lab-on-a-chip systems for F-18 radiotracer synthesis, purification and quality control

Archibald, Steve; Pamme, Nicole; Brown, Nathan; Tarn, Mark


Nicole Pamme

Nathan Brown

Mark Tarn


Objectives Dose-on-demand radiotracer production, whereby a single dose is generated using a compact synthesis unit with radioisotope from a mini-cyclotron or external supply is an interesting prospect for widening the availabilty of radiotracers. We aim to produce modules for lab-on-a-chip device design that can be used for isotope processing, synthesis and some routine quality control tests on a microfluidic scale.

Methods Modules for electrode trapping and release of [18F]fluoride, synthesis of [18F]FDG and purification were produced as prototypes using bespoke manufactured microfluidic glass chips with etched channels. Monolithic separation columns were made of a suitable size from silica and the functionality by chemical modification for the different purification and separation applications.Synthesis to validate the [18F]fluoride feed was carried out in a heated capillary loop. Spectroscopic quality control tests were developed using a simple on-chip absorbance-based system for performing QC tests rapidly (few min) with small volumes (80%). V-shaped plots were used to validate pH using absoprtion spectroscopy and solvent impurity using raman spectroscopy.

Conclusions Modules have been designed and tested for the synthesis of [18F]FDG. An efficient process for transfer of the [18F]fluoride into acetonitrile via electrode trapping allows synthesis of the [18F]FDG with high efficiency at low volumes was validated. Spearation modules using small (1-2 cm length) bespoke mopnolithic silica columns were used in the separations and some of the quality control tests were shown to be effective using both real samples and standards.


Archibald, S., Pamme, N., Brown, N., & Tarn, M. (2015). Integrated microfluidic lab-on-a-chip systems for F-18 radiotracer synthesis, purification and quality control. Journal of nuclear medicine, 56(Supplement 3), Article 167

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 1, 2015
Online Publication Date May 15, 2015
Publication Date May 1, 2015
Deposit Date Dec 8, 2020
Print ISSN 0161-5505
Publisher Society of Nuclear Medicine
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 56
Issue Supplement 3
Article Number 167
Public URL