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J Am Chem Soc. 2008 May 28;130(21):6731-3. doi: 10.1021/ja802010d. Epub 2008 May 2.

Synthesis of fluorine-18 functionalized nanoparticles for use as in vivo molecular imaging agents.

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  • 1NanoSystems Biology Cancer Center, Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, MC 127-72, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA.


Nanoparticles containing fluorine-18 were prepared from block copolymers made by ring opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP). Using the fast initiating ruthenium metathesis catalyst (H2IMes)(pyr)2(Cl)2Ru=CHPh, low polydispersity amphiphilic block copolymers were prepared from a cinnamoyl-containing hydrophobic norbornene monomer and a mesyl-terminated PEG-containing hydrophilic norbornene monomer. Self-assembly into micelles and subsequent cross-linking of the micelle cores by light-activated dimerization of the cinnamoyl groups yielded stable nanoparticles. Incorporation of fluorine-18 was achieved by nucleophilic displacement of the mesylates by the radioactive fluoride ion with 31% incorporation of radioactivity. The resulting positron-emitting nanoparticles are to be used as in vivo molecular imaging agents for use in tumor imaging.

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