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Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Björn Wängler

Development of new PET tracers and other target-specific contrast agents

The three thematic focuses of the Molecular Imaging & Radiochemistry group are the development of new contrast agents for Molecular Imaging with a special focus on PET-radiopharmaceuticals, the in vivo evaluation in preclinical models applying small animal optical imaging, PET/SPECT/CT and MRI, as well as the translation of newly developed radiopharmaceuticals into clinical application.
The more target-specific new therapies get, the more important it is to predict the efficacy of the treatment using tailored diagnostic agents. Furthermore, these diagnostics can be used to determine and quantify resistances that can occur during treatment using a non-invasive imaging method such as PET.

Especially in the field of Neurosciences, but also in other research focus areas of the Medical Faculty Mannheim, customized PET-tracers can be used to understand the etiology of disorders and are therefore an important tool in applied basic research (e.g. pain, craving, neurodegenerative diseases), but also in the development and assessment of the effectiveness of new treatment strategies.
For these purposes, the Molecular Imaging & Radiochemistry group synthesizes and evaluates (in vitro and in vivo) new target-specific tracers. The idea is to translate these findings as fast as possible also into a clinical application.

To realize this task, we will establish in near future a GMP-compliant radiopharmacy including a cyclotron in Mannheim to cover the need for short-lived patient-individualized target-specific radiopharmaceuticals for PET-imaging.

PET images of a newly developed TrkB/C specific radiotracer

Selection of recent publications

  1. Pretze M, Franck D, Kunkel F, Foßhag E, Wängler C, Wängler B. (2017) Evaluation of two nucleophilic syntheses routes for the automated synthesis of 6-[18F]fluoro-l-DOPA. Nucl Med Biol 45:35-42.
  2. Litau S, Niedermoser S, Vogler N, Roscher M, Schirrmacher R, Fricker G, Wängler B, Wängler C. (2015) Next Generation of SiFAlin-Based TATE Derivatives for PET Imaging of SSTR-Positive Tumors: Influence of Molecular Design on In Vitro SSTR Binding and In Vivo Pharmacokinetics. Bioconjug Chem. 26(12):2350-2359.
  3. Zhu J, Li S, Wängler C, Wängler B, Bruce Lennox R, Schirrmacher R. (2015) Synthesis of 3-chloro-6-((4-(di-tert-butyl[(18)F]fluorosilyl)-benzyl)oxy)-1,2,4,5-tetrazine ([(18)F]SiFA-OTz) for rapid tetrazine-based (18)F-radiolabeling. Chem Commun (Camb). 51(62):12415-8.
  4. Niedermoser S, Chin J, Wängler C, Kostikov A, Bernard-Gauthier V, Vogler N, Soucy JP, McEwan AJ, Schirrmacher R, Wängler B. (2015) In Vivo Evaluation of 18F-SiFAlin-Modified TATE: A Potential Challenge for 68Ga-DOTATATE, the Clinical Gold Standard for Somatostatin Receptor Imaging with PET. J Nucl Med. 56(7):1100-5.
  5. Pretze M, Wängler C, Wängler B. (2014) 6-[18F]fluoro-L-DOPA: a well-established neurotracer with expanding application spectrum and strongly improved radiosyntheses. Biomed Res Int. 674063
  6. Rensch C, Lindner S, Salvamoser R, Leidner S, Böld C, Samper V, Taylor D, Baller M, Riese S, Bartenstein P, Wängler C, Wängler B. (2014) A solvent resistant lab-on-chip platform for radiochemistry applications. Lab Chip. 14(14):2556-64.
  7. Lindner S, Michler C, Leidner S, Rensch C, Wängler C, Schirrmacher R, Bartenstein P, Wängler B. (2014) Synthesis and in vitro and in vivo evaluation of SiFA-tagged bombesin and RGD peptides as tumor imaging probes for positron emission tomography. Bioconjug Chem. 25(4):738-49.
  8. B. Wängler, A.P. Kostikov, S. Niedermoser S, J. Chin, K. Orchovski, E. Schirrmacher, L. Iovkova-Berends, K. Jurkschat, C. Wängler, R. Schirrmacher (2012) Protein labeling with the labeling precursor [(18)F]SiFA-SH for positron emission tomography. Nat Protoc. 7(11):1964-9.
  9. C. Wängler, S. Niedermoser, J. Chin, K. Orchovski, E. Schirrmacher, K. Jurkschat, L. Iovkova-Berends, A.P. Kostikov, R. Schirrmacher, B. Wängler (2012) One-step (18)F-labeling of peptides for positron emission tomography imaging using the SiFA methodology. Nat Protoc. 7(11):1946-55.
  10. S. Niedermoser, M. Pape, F.J. Gildehaus, C. Wängler, M. Hartenbach, R. Schirrmacher, P. Bartenstein, B. Wängler (2012) Evaluation of an automated double-synthesis module: efficiency and reliability of subsequent radiosyntheses of FHBG and FLT. Nucl Med Biol. 39(4):586-92.

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