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Nuklearmedizin. 2016;55(2):51-62.

Optical imaging probes and their potential contribution to radiotracer development.

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Andreas Faust, PhD, Waldeyerstr. 15, 48149 Münster, Germany, Tel. +49/(0)251/834 73 66, Fax +49/(0)251/834 93 13,


Optical imaging has long been considered a method for histological or microscopic investigations. Over the last 15 years, however, this method was applied for preclinical molecular imaging and, just recently, was also able to show its principal potential for clinical applications (e .g. fluorescence-guided surgery). Reviewing the development and preclinical evaluation of new fluorescent dyes and target-specific dye conjugates, these often show characteristic patterns of their routes of excretion and biodistribution, which could also be interesting for the development and optimization of radiopharmaceuticals. Especially ionic charges show a great influence on biodistribution and net-charge and charge-distribution on a conjugate often determines unspecific binding or background signals in liver, kidney or intestine, and other organs. Learning from fluorescent probe behaviour in vivo and translating this knowledge to radiopharmaceuticals might be useful to further optimize emerging and existing radiopharmaceuticals with respect to their biodistribution and thereby availability for binding to their targets.


Optical probes; biodistribution; fluorescent dyes; pharmacokinetics; radiotracer development

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