An overview of recent advances in microfluidics for positron emission tomography radiotracer synthesis from an engineering design perspective is provided in this review.
In order to accommodate the growing demand for positron emission tomography (PET), it will be necessary to create innovative radiochemical and engineering technologies to optimize the manufacture and development of PET probes. Microfluidic devices allow radiosynthesis to be performed in microscale amounts, significantly impacting PET tracer production. Compared to traditional methods, microfluidic devices can produce PET tracers in a shorter time, higher yields, with lower reagent consumption, higher molar activity, and faster purification. This review examines microfluidic devices from an engineering perspective. Recently developed microfluidic radiosynthesis devices are classified into three categories according to their reaction volume: continuous-flow, batch-flow, and droplet-based microreactors. The principles of device architecture, radiosynthesis process, and the relative strengths and limitations of each category are emphasized by citing typical examples. Finally, the possible future applications of this technology are outlined. A flexible, miniature, fully automated radiochemical microfluidic platform will offer more straightforward and cheaper molecular imaging procedures and the potential for precision medicine that could allow operators to create customized tracers for individual patient doses.Zum Volltext