07. May 2020

Publication about Hot spot 19F magnetic resonance imaging of inflammation Hot spot 19F magnetic resonance imaging of inflammation

May 07, 2020

Hot spot 19F magnetic resonance imaging of inflammation

Among the preclinical molecular imaging approaches, lately fluorine (19F) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has garnered significant scientific interest in the biomedical research community, due to the unique properties of fluorinated materials and the 19F nucleus. Fluorine is an intrinsically sensitive nucleus for MRI—there is negligible endogenous 19F in the body and, thus, no background signal which allows the detection of fluorinated materials as “hot spots” by combined 1H/19F MRI and renders fluorine‐containing molecules as ideal tracers with high specificity. In addition, perfluorocarbons are a family of compounds that exhibit a very high fluorine payload and are biochemically as well as physiologically inert. Perfluorocarbon nanoemulsions (PFCs) are well known to be readily taken up by immunocompetent cells, which can be exploited for the unequivocal identification of inflammatory foci by tracking the recruitment of PFC‐loaded immune cells to affected tissues using 1H/19F MRI. The required 19F labeling of immune cells can be accomplished either ex vivo by PFC incubation of isolated endogenous immune cells followed by their re‐injection or by intravenous application of PFCs for in situ uptake by circulating immune cells. With both approaches, inflamed tissues can unambiguously be detected via background‐free 19F signals due to trafficking of PFC‐loaded immune cells to affected organs. To extend 19F MRI tracking beyond cells with phagocytic properties, the PFC surface can further be equipped with distinct ligands to generate specificity against epitopes and/or types of immune cells independent of phagocytosis. Recent developments also allow for concurrent detection of different PFCs with distinct spectral signatures allowing the simultaneous visualization of several targets, such as various immune cell subtypes labeled with these PFCs. Since ligands and targets can easily be adapted to a variety of problems, this approach provides a general and versatile platform for inflammation imaging which will strongly extend the frontiers of molecular MRI.


Pascal Bouvain, Sebastian Temme, Ulrich Flögel

Hot spot 19F magnetic resonance imaging of inflammation; Wiley Interdiscip Rev Nanomed Nanobiotechnol. 2020 May 07;e1639. doi:10.1002/wnan.1639

Picture: Labelling approaches for 19F MRI (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/wnan.1639)

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