A novel synthesis of 6''-[ 18 F]-fluoromaltotriose as a PET tracer for imaging bacterial infection

J Labelled Comp Radiopharm. 2018 May 15;61(5):408-414. doi: 10.1002/jlcr.3601. Epub 2018 Mar 30.


The aim of this study was to develop a positron emission tomography (PET) tracer to visualize and monitor therapeutic response to bacterial infections. In our continued efforts to find maltose based PET tracers that can image bacterial infections, we have designed and prepared 6''-[18 F]fluoromaltotriose as a second generation PET imaging tracer targeting the maltodextrin transporter of bacteria. We have developed methods to synthesize 6''-deoxy-6''-[18 F]fluoro-α-D-glucopyranosyl-(1-4)-O-α-D-glucopyranosyl-(1-4)-O-D-glucopyranose (6''-[18 F]-fluoromaltotriose) as a bacterial infection PET imaging agent. 6''-[18 F]fluoromaltotriose was prepared from precursor, 2'',3'',4''-tri-O-acetyl-6''-O-nosyl-α-D-glucopyranosyl-(1-4)-O-2',3',6'-tri-O-acetyl-α-D-glucopyranosyl-(1-4)-1,2,3,6-tetra-O-acetyl-D-glucopyranose (per-O-acetyl-6''-O-nosyl-maltotriose 4). This method utilizes the reaction between precursor 4 and anhydrous [18 F]KF/Kryptofix 2.2.2 in dimethylformamide (DMF) at 85°C for 10 minutes to yield per-O-acetyl-6''-deoxy-6-'' [18 F]-fluoromaltotriose (7). Successive acidic and basic hydrolysis of the acetyl protecting groups in 7 produced 6''-[18 F]fluoromaltotriose (8). Also, cold 6''- [19 F]fluoromaltotriose was prepared from per-O-acetyl-6''-hydroxymaltotriose via a diethylaminosulfur trifluoride reaction followed by a basic hydrolysis. A successful synthesis of 6''-[18 F]-fluoromaltotriose has been accomplished in 8 ± 1.2% radiochemical yield (decay corrected). Total synthesis time was 120 minutes. Serum stability of 6''-[18 F]fluoromaltotriose at 37°C indicated that 6''-[18 F]-fluoromaltotriose remained intact up to 2 hours. In conclusion, we have successfully synthesized 6''-[18 F]-fluoromaltotriose via direct fluorination of an appropriate precursor of a protected maltotriose.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Infections / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / chemical synthesis*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacokinetics
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Trisaccharides / chemical synthesis*
  • Trisaccharides / pharmacokinetics


  • 6''-fluoromaltotriose
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Trisaccharides