Translation of ceragenin affinity for bacteria to an imaging reagent for infection

Nilantha Bandara, Yubo Li, Philipp Diebolder, Cedric Mpoy, Xiaobo Gu, Pitambar Khanal, Shenglou Deng, Buck E. Rogers, Paul B. Savage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Responses to bacterial infections may be manifest systemically without evidence of the location of the infection site. A rapid means of pinpointing infection sites would be useful in providing effective and possibly localized treatment. Successful means of identifying infection sites would require two components: (1) a molecule capable of recognizing bacteria and (2) a means of communicating recognition. For the recognition element, we used a ceragenin, a small molecule with affinity for bacterial membranes that was designed as a mimic of endogenous antimicrobial peptides. For the communication element, we used 64Cu, which is a positron emitter. By conjugating a copper chelating group to the ceragenin, the two elements were combined. Chelation of 64Cu by the conjugate was effective and provided a stable complex that allowed in vivo imaging. When administered to mice in a thigh infection model, the 64Cu-labeled conjugate accumulated at the site of infection (right thigh) without accumulation at the complementary site (left thigh). This conjugate may provide a means of identifying infection sites in patients presenting general signs of infection without localized symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14472-14476
Number of pages5
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number25
StatePublished - 2019


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