Nuclear imaging using positron emission tomography [PET] is a powerful technique with clinical applications which include oncology, cardiovascular disease and CNS disorders. Conventional chemical syntheses of the short half-life radionuclides used in the process however imposes numerous limitations on scope of available ligands. By utilizing microwave assisted synthesis methods many of these limitations can be overcome, paving the way for the design of diverse families of agents with defined cellular targets. This review will survey recent developments in the field with emphasis on the period 2006-2011.
Positron emission tomography [PET] has become one of the most powerful in vivo imaging modalities, capable of delivering mm3 resolution of radiotracer distribution and metabolism . When combined with anatomic imaging methods (MRI, CT) co-registered multimode images offer the potential to track metabolic and physiologic events in diseased states and guide and accelerate clinical trials of investigational new drugs. Also, this same methodology can be used to evaluate first pass pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics in early stage drug discovery. Though powerful as a technique only a limited number of drugs have seen clinical use and to date only one drug 2-fluoro-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) has received FDA approval . One of the drawbacks of PET imaging is the need for tracers labeled with an appropriate nuclide and the half-lives of these agents places special constraints on the chemical synthesis. Among the most popular are 11C (t½ =20.4 min) and 18F (t ½ =109.8 min) labeled compounds and this has resulted in a resurgence of interest in practical application of their chemistries [3,4]. This review will focus on microwave mediated methods of acceleration of organic reactions used for the production of labeled PET image contrast agents, with emphasis on the five year period 2006 to 2011.