The overall objective of this proposal is to capitalise on our expertise in synthetic and fluorine organic chemistry by undertaking a research programme aimed at exploring the value of 18F-labelled N-F reagents. Upon completion of the proposed research programme, we hope to provide 18F-radiochemists with a toolbox filled with novel 18F-radiosynthetic strategies. The unconventional and innovative methods that we will investigate are designed to address well recognised pending problems in 18F-radiolabelling and to offer unprecedented radiosynthetic routes to access 18F-labelled targets. The impact of the novel radiochemistry we propose to develop is far reaching to advance Positron Emission Tomography (PET). PET is a non-invasive molecular imaging technique used clinically for diagnostic purpose and drug discovery. This expanding highly interdisciplinary area of research relies on radiotracers labelled with a positron-emitting radioisotope. 18F-Labelled molecules are frequently used because of the advantageous properties of the 18F in comparison with other non-metallic radioisotopes. For rapid progress, the radiochemistry available for 18F-labelling should be sufficiently diverse for any designed 18F-radiotracers to be accessible regardless of the point of attachment of the 18F-label. To date, this is far from the reality, as current methodologies to construct 18F-labelled molecules present with limitations. The emphasis of this proposal is on the development and use of 18F-labelled N-F reagents of high specific activity for electrophilic fluorination. These reagents should allow for the production of 18F-labelled radiotracers in high radiochemical yield, purity and specific activity.
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