Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging of Medical Isotopes

Nuclear Medicine Service, Department of Radiology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10065, USA.
Journal of Nuclear Medicine (Impact Factor: 6.16). 07/2010; 51(7):1123-30. DOI: 10.2967/jnumed.110.076521
Source: PubMed


The development of novel multimodality imaging agents and techniques represents the current frontier of research in the field of medical imaging science. However, the combination of nuclear tomography with optical techniques has yet to be established. Here, we report the use of the inherent optical emissions from the decay of radiopharmaceuticals for Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) of tumors in vivo and correlate the results with those obtained from concordant immuno-PET studies.
In vitro phantom studies were used to validate the visible light emission observed from a range of radionuclides including the positron emitters (18)F, (64)Cu, (89)Zr, and (124)I; beta-emitter (131)I; and alpha-particle emitter (225)Ac for potential use in CLI. The novel radiolabeled monoclonal antibody (89)Zr-desferrioxamine B [DFO]-J591 for immuno-PET of prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) expression was used to coregister and correlate the CLI signal observed with the immuno-PET images and biodistribution studies.
Phantom studies confirmed that Cerenkov radiation can be observed from a range of positron-, beta-, and alpha-emitting radionuclides using standard optical imaging devices. The change in light emission intensity versus time was concordant with radionuclide decay and was also found to correlate linearly with both the activity concentration and the measured PET signal (percentage injected dose per gram). In vivo studies conducted in male severe combined immune deficient mice bearing PSMA-positive, subcutaneous LNCaP tumors demonstrated that tumor-specific uptake of (89)Zr-DFO-J591 could be visualized by both immuno-PET and CLI. Optical and immuno-PET signal intensities were found to increase over time from 24 to 96 h, and biodistribution studies were found to correlate well with both imaging modalities.
These studies represent the first, to our knowledge, quantitative assessment of CLI for measuring radiotracer uptake in vivo. Many radionuclides common to both nuclear tomographic imaging and radiotherapy have the potential to be used in CLI. The value of CLI lies in its ability to image radionuclides that do not emit either positrons or gamma-rays and are, thus, unsuitable for use with current nuclear imaging modalities. Optical imaging of Cerenkov radiation emission shows excellent promise as a potential new imaging modality for the rapid, high-throughput screening of radiopharmaceuticals.

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    • "Because many radionuclides (e.g. 131I, 18F) approved by the FDA for clinical use are emit charged particles, capable of producing CL that can be detected by low-cost charge-coupled device (CCD) cameras [4,5]. The concept of Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) provides a potential method to achieve multimodality molecular imaging by combining radionuclide labeled probes and optical imaging together [6]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Unlabelled: Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) has been successfully utilized in various fields of preclinical studies; however, CLI is challenging due to its weak luminescent intensity and insufficient penetration capability. Here, we report the design and synthesis of a type of rare-earth microparticles (REMPs), which can be dually excited by Cerenkov luminescence (CL) resulting from the decay of radionuclides to enhance CLI in terms of intensity and penetration. Methods: Yb(3+)- and Er(3+)- codoped hexagonal NaYF4 hollow microtubes were synthesized via a hydrothermal route. The phase, morphology, and emission spectrum were confirmed for these REMPs by power X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and spectrophotometry, respectively. A commercial CCD camera equipped with a series of optical filters was employed to quantify the intensity and spectrum of CLI from radionuclides. The enhancement of penetration was investigated by imaging studies of nylon phantoms and nude mouse pseudotumor models. Results: the REMPs could be dually excited by CL at the wavelengths of 520 and 980 nm, and the emission peaks overlaid at 660 nm. This strategy approximately doubled the overall detectable intensity of CLI and extended its maximum penetration in nylon phantoms from 5 to 15 mm. The penetration study in living animals yielded similar results. Conclusions: this study demonstrated that CL can dually excite REMPs and that the overlaid emissions in the range of 660 nm could significantly enhance the penetration and intensity of CL. The proposed enhanced CLI strategy may have promising applications in the future.
    PLoS ONE 10/2013; 8(10):e77926. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0077926 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) is a newly emerged molecular imaging technology [18], [19], [20], [21], [22], [23], [24], [25], [26], [27]. It utilizes luminescence generated from the β+ and β− decay of radionuclides such as 18F and 131I in the medium. "
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    ABSTRACT: Brown adipose tissue (BAT), a specialized tissue for thermogenesis, plays important roles for metabolism and energy expenditure. Recent studies validated BAT's presence in human adults, making it an important re-emerging target for various pathologies. During this validation, PET images with (18)F-FDG showed significant uptake of (18)F-FDG by BAT under certain conditions. Here, we demonstrated that Cerenkov luminescence imaging (CLI) using (18)F-FDG could be utilized for in vivo optical imaging of BAT in mice. Mice were injected with (18)F-FDG and imaged 60 minutes later with open filter and 2 minute acquisition. In vivo activation of BAT was performed by norepinephrine and cold treatment under isoflurane or ketamine anesthesia. Spectral unmixing and 3D imaging reconstruction were conducted with multiple-filter CLI images. 1) It was feasible to use CLI with (18)F-FDG to image interscapular BAT in mice, with the majority of the signal (>85%) at the interscapular site originating from BAT; 2) The method was reliable because excellent correlations between in vivo CLI, ex vivo CLI, and ex vivo radioactivity were observed; 3) CLI could be used for monitoring BAT activation under different conditions; 4) CLI signals from the group under short-term isoflurane anesthesia were significantly higher than that from the group under long-term anesthesia; 5) The CLI spectrum of (18)F-FDG with a peak at 640 nm in BAT after spectral unmixing reflected the actual context of BAT; 6) Finally 3D reconstruction images showed excellent correlation between the source of the light signal and the location and physical shape of BAT. CLI with (18)F-FDG is a feasible and reliable method for imaging BAT in mice. Compared to PET imaging, CLI is significantly cheaper, faster for 2D planar imaging and easier to use. We believe that this method could be used as an important tool for researchers investigating BAT.
    PLoS ONE 04/2013; 8(4):e62007. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0062007 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "The relatively low translational energy of the emitted positrons, 395.5 keV, results in high image resolution, and the energy disparity between the 511 keV photons and the 909 keV gamma rays prevents the latter from interfering with the detection of the coincident photons. Importantly, the suitability of the 89 Zr decay characteristics for imaging markedly contrasts with 124 I, which emits much higher energy positrons (687 and 974 keV) and also emits a number of photons with energies within 100-150 keV of the positron-created 511 keV [26]. Both phenomena combine to grant 89 Zr noticeably better resolution than its halogen competitor. "
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    ABSTRACT: The advent of antibody-based cancer therapeutics has led to the concomitant rise in the development of companion diagnostics for these therapies, particularly nuclear imaging agents. A number of radioisotopes have been employed for antibody-based PET and SPECT imaging, notably 64Cu, 124I, 111In, and 99mTc; in recent years, however, the field has increasingly focused on 89Zr, a radiometal with near ideal physical and chemical properties for immunoPET imaging. In the review at hand, we seek to provide a comprehensive portrait of the current state of 89Zr radiochemical and imaging research, including work into the production and purification of the isotope, the synthesis of new chelators, the development of new bioconjugation strategies, the creation of novel 89Zr-based agents for preclinical imaging studies, and the translation of 89Zr-labeled radiopharmaceuticals to the clinic. Particular attention will also be dedicated to emerging trends in the field, 89Zr-based imaging applications using vectors other than antibodies, the comparative advantages and limitations of 89Zr-based imaging compared to that with other isotopes, and areas that would benefit from more extensive investigation. At bottom, it is hoped that this review will provide both the experienced investigator and new scientist with a full and critical overview of this exciting and fast-developing field.
    Nuclear Medicine and Biology 01/2013; 40(1):3–14. DOI:10.1016/j.nucmedbio.2012.08.004 · 2.41 Impact Factor
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