Medical imaging plays a critical role in early disease detection, diagnosis, and treatment. The use of radiopharmaceuticals can provide biochemical and physiological information in a non-invasive manner. The objective of this project is to generate bifunctional Re/99mTc imaging agents attached to metabolic probes for the diagnosis and possibly treatment of cancer. Numerous differences exhibited between cancerous and normal tissue (e.g. uncontrolled growth) can be exploited for the targeting of diseased tissue. The design of a single probe that can be used in both optical- and nuclear-imaging could allow for the correlation of processes at the cellular level with in vivo imaging. 99mTc is the most widely used γ-emitting radionuclide due to its ideal nuclear properties (t1/2 = 6.01 h), while Re is the third-row transition-metal analogue of Tc that exhibits similar chemical properties. In this work two Re complexes containing appended glutamine functions were synthesized and characterized. Cell uptake and localization studies were performed with the designed luminescent Re complexes to assess potential use as cancer imaging agents.
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Thesis advisor: Storr, Tim
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