Nanogels from metal-chelating crosslinkers as versatile platforms applied to copper-64 PET imaging of tumors and metastases

 

Jacques Lux, Alexander G. White, Minnie Chan, Carolyn J. Anderson, Adah Almutairi. Nanogels from metal-chelating crosslinkers as versatile platforms applied to copper-64 PET imaging of tumors and metastases. Theranostics 2015; 5(3):277-288. doi:10.7150/thno.10904.

 

Metals are essential in medicine for both therapy and diagnosis. We recently created the first metal-chelating nanogel imaging agent, which employed versatile, reproducible chemistry that maximizes chelation stability. Here we demonstrate that our metal chelating crosslinked nanogel technology is a powerful platform by incorporating 64Cu to obtain PET radiotracers. Polyacrylamide-based nanogels were crosslinked with three different polydentate ligands (DTPA, DOTA, NOTA). NOTA-based nanogels stably retained 64Cu in mouse serum and accumulated in tumors in vivo as detected by PET/CT imaging. Measurement of radioactivity in major organs ex vivo confirmed this pattern, revealing a high accumulation (12.3% ID/g and 16.6% ID/g) in tumors at 24 and 48 h following administration, with lower accumulation in the liver (8.5% ID/g at 24 h) and spleen (5.5% ID/g). Nanogels accumulated even more efficiently in metastases (29.9% and 30.4% ID/g at 24 and 48 h). These metal-chelating nanogels hold great promise for future application as bimodal PET/MRI agents; chelation of β-emitting radionuclides could enable radiation therapy.