Radiation crosslinking was employed to obtain nanocarriers based on poly(acrylic acid)-PAA-for targeted delivery of radioactive isotopes. These nanocarriers are internally crosslinked hydrophilic macromolecules-nanogels-bearing carboxylic groups to facilitate functionalization. PAA nanogels were conjugated with an engineered bombesin-derivative-oligopeptide combined with 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetate chelating moiety, aimed to provide selective radioligand transport. 4-(4,6-Dimethoxy-1,3,5-triazin-2-yl)-4-methylmorpholinium (DMTMM) toluene-4-sulfonate was used as the coupling agent. After tests on a model amine-p-toluidine-both commercial and home-synthesized DOTA-bombesin were successfully coupled to the nanogels and the obtained products were characterized. The radiolabeling efficiency of nanocarriers with 177Lu, was chromatographically tested. The results provide a proof of concept for the synthesis of radiation-synthesized nanogel-based radioisotope nanocarriers for theranostic applications.
Keywords: DMTMM; DOTA; biomaterials; biomedical applications; bombesin; conjugation; nanocarriers; nanogels; poly(acrylic acid); radiation chemistry; radioisotopes.