Ultrafast Photoclick Reaction for Selective 18 F-Positron Emission Tomography Tracer Synthesis in Flow

J Am Chem Soc. 2021 Jul 14;143(27):10041-10047. doi: 10.1021/jacs.1c02229. Epub 2021 Jun 28.


The development of very fast, clean, and selective methods for indirect labeling in PET tracer synthesis is an ongoing challenge. Here we present the development of an ultrafast photoclick method for the synthesis of short-lived 18F-PET tracers based on the photocycloaddition reaction of 9,10-phenanthrenequinones with electron-rich alkenes. The respective precursors are synthetically easily accessible and can be functionalized with various target groups. Using a flow photo-microreactor, the photoclick reaction can be performed in 60 s, and clinically relevant tracers for prostate cancer and bacterial infection imaging were prepared to demonstrate practicality of the method.