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Lab Chip. 2014 Jul 7;14(13):2293-302. doi: 10.1039/c4lc00286e.

Compact microfluidic device for rapid concentration of PET tracers.

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Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging and Department of Molecular & Medical Pharmacology, University of California, Los Angeles, 570 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


HPLC purification and reformulation of positron emission tomography (PET) tracers can lead to significant dilution of the final product, making it difficult to produce a sufficiently high radioactivity concentration for some applications (e.g. small animal imaging, in vitro assays, and labelling of proteins with prosthetic groups). This is especially true for molecules with lengthy or low-yield syntheses. Starting the synthesis with more radioactivity increases the final radioactivity concentration but increases hazards and complexity of handling. An alternative is to concentrate the final product by a process such as rotary evaporation prior to downstream use. Because a rotovap requires significant space within a hot cell that could be put to more productive use, we developed a compact microfluidic system for concentration of PET tracers. This system also provides advantages in terms of repeatability, interfacing and potential for automation. We present here the design and performance characterization of the system, and demonstrate the concentration of several tracers in aqueous-based HPLC mobile phases.

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