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Molecular Imaging Chemistry Laboratory (MICL)


The laboratory consists of four integrated areas covering the key stages required for the development and preparations of molecular imaging probes: i) an organic chemistry area for the generation of novel chemical entities and precursors, ii) an analytical area for chemical and radiochemical identification, iii) a radiochemistry area for synthesis and purification of radiotracers and iv) a radiopharmacology area for the biological characterisation and validation of imaging probes.




Organic Chemistry Laboratory

i)               Organic Chemistry Laboratory is home to eight spacious fumehoods, each one equipped with a Schlenk line thus allowing each member of the MICL to have their own research space. The laboratory technician assists in the smooth running of the lab.

Cold Chemistry Lab_4


 Analytical Laboratory

ii)              In our Analytical Laboratory we have several instruments:

a.    300 MHz Avance III NMR machine equipped with the multinuclear probe for running 1H, 13C, and 19F NMR experiments for compound identification. We can run 2D NMR as well as variable temperature experiments.

b.    Waters LCMS Xero TQD/Acquity H UPLC system which can be used for the day-to-day running of reaction mixtures as well as metabolite analysis as a part of reaction monitoring and compound characterization.

c.     Gilson automated column system which can be used for compound separation and isolation. The system is versatile and practical for larger amounts of compounds.

Analytical Lab


 Radiochemistry Laboratory

iii)            Radiochemistry Laboratory is temporarily controlled area and dedicated to the production of compounds labelled with radionuclides (e.g., 11C and 18F). The laboratory is equipped with three automated modules: FxFN, FASTlab and Advion microfluidics platform. Each of the modules is in their dedicated hot cell. Also, manual hot cell is where manual radiochemical reactions are performed allowing for multiple experiments to be conducted at the same time on a small scale. The laboratory is also equipped with three HPLC systems (Thermo Scientific and Agilent) dedicated to radiosynthesis work and the QC analysis of materials prepared.

Radio Chemistry Lab_2


 Radiopharmacology Laboratory

iv)            Radiopharmacology Laboratory is where in vitro work is carried out. The laboratory is equipped with the Thermo Scientific HPLC system dedicated to the analysis of metabolites, GE Phosporimager used for autoradiographic studies or radiochemical reaction progress, and Hidex gamma counter for biodistribution and kinetic PET studies in a preclinical setting.

Radio Pharmacology_2


 Imaging suite


v)              is where we conduct our preclinical PET studies. The facility is equipped with a Mediso nanoScan PET/CT scanner which allows in vivo visualisation and quantification of radiotracer candidates.

Further information can be found:

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Radiotracers available from MICL

Radiotracer        Target                        Example of application

[11C]UCB-J          SV2A                         Synaptic density

[11C]Leu              Protein synthesis        Tumours, AD

[11C]PK11195      TSPO                         Neuroinflammation

[11C]PIB              B-Amyloid                  AD

[11C]MRB            NET                           PSP

[11C]LMET          Amino acid transport   Tumours

[11C]Acetate       Metabolism                 Myocardial oxidative metabolism

[11C]PBB3          Tau                            AD

[11C]LM229         Tau                            AD

[11C]MTO            B-hydroxylase            Adenoma


[18F]AV1451        Tau                            AD

[18F]GE179         NMDA                       AD, TBI

[18F]GE387         TSPO                        Neuroinflammation

[18F]GE180         TSPO                        Neuroinflammation

[18F]DPA714       TSPO                        Neuroinflammation

[18F]ADAM         SERT                        Transporter

[18F]FDOPA       Dopamine                   Neurotransmitter

[18F]CETO         Adrenal glands            Primary aldosteronism

[18F]FMISO       Hypoxia                      Tumours

[18F]FLT            Cellular proliferation     Tumours

[18F]GE226       HER2                         Metastatic breast cancer