The current utilization of positron emission tomography (PET) imaging is limited due to the high costs associated with production facility start-up and operations; subsequently, there has been a movement towards microfluidic synthesis of radiolabeled imaging pharmaceuticals (tracers). In this review, we summarize the current status of microfluidic radiosynthesis units for producing fluorine-18 labeled PET imaging tracers, including a discussion of the relative strengths and weaknesses of such devices. In addition, we provide a brief overview of the radiotracers that have been produced using microfluidic devices to date. Finally, we discuss the prospects for the future of this field, including the potential of newly envisioned devices developed that may allow operators to easily synthesize specialized tracers for individual patient doses.
- Positron emission tomography