Kit-based synthesis of 2-deoxy-2-[18F]-fluoro-d-sorbitol for bacterial imaging

Filipa Mota, Patricia De Jesus, Sanjay K. Jain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Clinically available imaging tools for diagnosing infections rely on structural changes in the affected tissues. They therefore lack specificity and cannot differentiate between oncologic, inflammatory and infectious processes. We have developed 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-d-sorbitol (18F-FDS) as an imaging agent to visualize infections caused by Enterobacterales, which represent the largest group of bacterial pathogens in humans and are responsible for severe infections, often resulting in sepsis or death. A clinical study in 26 prospectively enrolled patients demonstrated that 18F-FDS positron emission tomography (PET) was safe, and could detect and localize infections due to drug-susceptible or multi-drug-resistant Enterobacterales strains as well as differentiate them from other pathologies (sterile inflammation or cancer). 18F-FDS is cleared almost exclusively through renal filtration and has also shown potential as a PET agent for functional renal imaging. Since most PET radionuclides have a short half-life, maximal clinical impact will require fast, on-demand synthesis with limited infrastructure and personnel. To meet this demand, we developed a kit-based solid phase method that uses commercially and widely available 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-d-glucose as the precursor and allows 18F-FDS to be produced and purified in one step at room temperature. The 18F-FDS kit consists of a solid-phase extraction cartridge packed with solid supported borohydride (MP-borohydride), which can be attached to a second cartridge to reduce pH. We evaluated the effects of different solid supported borohydride reagents, cartridge size, starting radioactivity, volumes and flow rates in the radiochemical yield and purity. The optimized protocol can be completed in <30 min and allows the synthesis of 18F-FDS in >70% radiochemical yield and >90% radiochemical purity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5274-5286
Number of pages13
JournalNature protocols
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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