Radiochemistry for positron emission tomography

Nat Commun. 2023 Jun 5;14(1):3257. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-36377-4.


Positron emission tomography (PET) constitutes a functional imaging technique that is harnessed to probe biological processes in vivo. PET imaging has been used to diagnose and monitor the progression of diseases, as well as to facilitate drug development efforts at both preclinical and clinical stages. The wide applications and rapid development of PET have ultimately led to an increasing demand for new methods in radiochemistry, with the aim to expand the scope of synthons amenable for radiolabeling. In this work, we provide an overview of commonly used chemical transformations for the syntheses of PET tracers in all aspects of radiochemistry, thereby highlighting recent breakthrough discoveries and contemporary challenges in the field. We discuss the use of biologicals for PET imaging and highlight general examples of successful probe discoveries for molecular imaging with PET - with a particular focus on translational and scalable radiochemistry concepts that have been entered to clinical use.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Drug Development
  • Positron-Emission Tomography* / methods
  • Radiochemistry
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals