Radiofluorination of an Anionic, Azide-Functionalized Teroligomer by Copper-Catalyzed Azide-Alkyne Cycloaddition
This study describes the synthesis, radiofluorination and purification of an anionic amphiphilic teroligomer developed as a stabilizer for siRNA-loaded calcium phosphate nanoparticles (CaP-NPs). As the stabilizing amphiphile accumulates on nanoparticle surfaces, the fluorine-18-labeled polymer should enable to track the distribution of the CaP-NPs in brain tumors by positron emission tomography after application by convection-enhanced delivery. At first, an unmodified teroligomer was synthesized with a number average molecular weight of 4550 ± 20 Da by free radical polymerization of a defined composition of methoxy-PEG-monomethacrylate, tetradecyl acrylate and maleic anhydride. Subsequent derivatization of anhydrides with azido-TEG-amine provided an azido-functionalized polymer precursor ( o14PEGMA-N 3 ) for radiofluorination. The 18 F-labeling was accomplished through the copper-catalyzed cycloaddition of o14PEGMA-N 3 with diethylene glycol–alkyne-substituted heteroaromatic prosthetic group [ 18 F]2, which was synthesized with a radiochemical yield (RCY) of about 38% within 60 min using a radiosynthesis module. The 18 F-labeled polymer [ 18 F]fluoro-o14PEGMA was obtained after a short reaction time of 2–3 min by using CuSO 4 /sodium ascorbate at 90 °C. Purification was performed by solid-phase extraction on an anion-exchange cartridge followed by size-exclusion chromatography to obtain [ 18 F]fluoro-o14PEGMA with a high radiochemical purity and an RCY of about 15%.