Droplet microreactors for radiopharmaceutical discovery and manufacturing
Jan 26, 2024
2:30PM to 3:30PM
Date(s) - 26/01/2024
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Prof. Michael van Dam
Dept. of Molecular & Medical Pharmacology, Bioengineering, and Physics in Biology and Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles
The preparation of radiopharmaceuticals for in vivo imaging (e.g. via positron-emission tomography; PET) and targeted radiotherapy poses a number of unique challenges: automation and heavy shielding are required for radiation protection, and the short half-life requires a network of production facilities to produce radiopharmaceuticals for research and clinical use around the world. To overcome the high costs and complexity of current technologies that limit access to these radiopharmaceuticals, there has been extensive innovation into how radiochemistry is performed.
This talk will focus on our new approach based on microfluidic surface tension traps, in which reactions are performed in tiny droplets at 100x smaller volume scale than conventional instruments. The reduced volume enables dramatic improvements in yield, synthesis time, reagent consumption, specific activity and cost, and by concentrating radionuclides into microscale volumes, the quantity of radiopharmaceutical product of these systems can be scaled anywhere from small preclinical batches up to larger scale multi-patient-dose batches. The compact size could enable the transformation of today’s costly radiopharmacies into benchtop devices, facilitating vast reductions in cost and increases in availability of these specialized compounds. Moreover, arrays of droplet reactions can be conducted in parallel, providing a practical platform for high-throughput experimentation (e.g. for synthesis optimization, screening substrate scope, etc.), when coupled with high-throughput analysis methods. Full automation of this economical and time-efficient technique is around the corner, and could have a significant impact on how radiopharmaceutical research is performed, and how radiopharmaceuticals are manufactured and distributed.
Michael van Dam, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Departments of Molecular & Medical Pharmacology, Bioengineering, and Physics in Biology and Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is also a Vice Chair in the Department of Molecular & Medical Pharmacology, Co-Associate Director of the Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging, and Director of the Crump Cyclotron and Radiochemistry Technology Center. His research focuses on developing novel technologies to increase access to radiopharmaceuticals (e.g., PET imaging tracers and theranostic agents), including microscale devices for multi-step radiosynthesis, high-throughput methods for accelerated radiopharmaceutical development, and high-sensitivity techniques for radiochemical analysis. He has published over 75 papers and book chapters and has been granted over 20 patents. He currently serves on the editorial boards of the journals EJNMMI Radiopharmacy and Chemistry, and Micromachines. Dr. van Dam is a co-founder of Sofie, Inc., which has commercialized a flexible radiosynthesizer platform and software developed in his laboratory (ELIXYS FLEX/CHEM), and is a co-founder of DropletPharma Corp., a new startup focused on microscale radiochemistry. He received his B.Sc. in Engineering Physics from Queen’s University (Kingston, ON, Canada), M.A.Sc. in Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto (Toronto, ON, Canada), and Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA, USA).
In-Person: ABB 102
Meeting ID: 972 3264 5743