In vivo real-time positron emission particle tracking (PEPT) and single particle PET

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Positron emission particle tracking (PEPT) enables 3D localization and tracking of single positron-emitting radiolabelled particles with high spatiotemporal resolution. The translation of PEPT to the biomedical imaging field has been limited due to the lack of methods to radiolabel biocompatible particles with sufficient specific activity and protocols to isolate a single particle in the sub-micrometre size range, below the threshold for capillary embolization. Here we report two key developments: the synthesis and 68Ga-radiolabelling of homogeneous silica particles of 950 nm diameter with unprecedented specific activities (2.1 ± 1.4 kBq per particle), and the isolation and manipulation of a single particle. We have combined these developments to perform in vivo PEPT and dynamic positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of a single radiolabelled sub-micrometre size particle using a pre-clinical positron emission tomography/computed tomography scanner. This work opens possibilities for quantitative assessment of haemodynamics in vivo in real time, at the whole-body level using minimal amounts of injected radioactive dose and material.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-676
Number of pages9
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2024


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