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Semin Nucl Med. 2003 Jan;33(1):14-27.

Radiotracers for positron emission tomography imaging.

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  • 1Chemistry Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973, USA.


Over the past 30 years, advances in radiotracer chemistry and positron emission tomography instrumentation have merged to make positron emission tomography a powerful scientific tool in the biomedical sciences. However, despite the increasing reliance of the biomedical sciences on imaging and the new needs for functional information created by the sequencing of the human genome, the development of new radiotracers with the specificity and kinetic characteristics for quantitative analysis in vivo remains a slow process. In this article, we focus on advances in the development of the radiotracers involved in neurotransmission, amino acid transport, protein synthesis, and DNA synthesis. We conclude with a brief section on newer radiotracers that image other molecular targets and conclude with a summary of some of the scientific and infrastructure needs that would expedite the development and introduction of new radiotracers into biomedical research and the practice of medicine.

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