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Transition metal mediated synthesis using [11C]CO at low pressure – a simplified method for 11C-carbonylation


Jonas Eriksson, Department of Nuclear Medicine & PET Research, VU University Medical Center, The Netherlands.



Transition metal mediated carbonylation with [11C]CO has proven a useful method to label a wide array of compounds in the carbonyl position. However, the general use in radiopharmaceutical synthesis has been hampered by the low solubility of carbon monoxide in most solvents and the resulting challenge to confine [11C]CO in low volume reaction vessels. This paper introduces a method that utilises xenon to transfer pre-concentrated [11C]CO to a sealed disposable glass vial containing carbonylation reagents. The high solubility of xenon in the organic solvent made it possible to confine the [11C]CO without utilising a pressure autoclave or chemical trapping additives. The utility of the method in 11C-carbonylation was investigated by conducting three model reactions, where [11C-carbonyl]N-benzylbenzamide, [11C-carbonyl]triclocarban and [11C-carbonyl]methyl nicotinate were afforded in decay corrected radiochemical yields of 71 ± 6%, 42 ± 15% and 29 ± 10%, respectively. These promising results and the straight forward technical implementation suggest that 11C-cabonylation can become a viable mean to provide labelled carbonyl functionalities in routine radiopharmaceutical synthesis. Compounds labelled with short lived positron emitters are used in Positron Emission Tomography, a molecular imaging technology with applications in clinical diagnostics, clinical research and basic biomedical research.