A novel method to label preformed liposomes with 64Cu for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging

Jai Seo, Hua Zhang, David L. Kukis, Claude F. Meares, Katherine W. Ferrara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


Radiolabeling of liposomes with 64Cu (t1/2) 12.7 h) is attractive for molecular imaging and monitoring drug delivery. A simple chelation procedure, performed at a low temperature and under mild conditions, is required to radiolabel preloaded liposomes without lipid hydrolysis or the release of the encapsulated contents. Here, we report a 64Cu postlabeling method for liposomes. A 64Cu-specific chelator, 6-[p-(bromoacetamido)benzyl]-1,4,8,11-tetraazacyclotetradecane-N,N′, N″,N‴-tetraacetic acid (BAT), was conjugated with an artificial lipid to form a BAT-PEG-lipid. After incorporation of 0.5% (mol/mol) BAT-PEG-lipid during liposome formulation, liposomes were successfully labeled with 64Cu in 0.1 M NH4OAc pH 5 buffer at 35° C for 30-40 min with an incorporation yield as high as 95%. After 48 h of incubation of 64Cu-liposomes in 50/50 serum/PBS solution, more than 88% of the 64Cu label was still associated with liposomes. After injection of liposomal 64Cu in a mouse model, 44 ± 6.9, 21 ± 2.7, 15 ± 2.5, and 7.4 ± 1.1 (n = 4) % of the injected dose per cubic centimeter remained within the blood pool at 30 min, 18, 28, and 48 h, respectively. The biodistribution at 48 h after injection verified that 7.0 ± 0.47 (n = 4) and 1.4 ( 0.58 (n = 3) % of the injected dose per gram of liposomal 64Cu and free 64Cu remained in the blood pool, respectively. Our results suggest that this fast and easy 64Cu labeling of liposomes could be exploited in tracking liposomes in vivo for medical imaging and targeted delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2577-2584
Number of pages8
JournalBioconjugate Chemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 17 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmacology


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