We have developed a highly efficient method for the radiolabeling of phytantriol (PHYT)/oleic acid (OA)-based hexosomes based on the surface chelation of technetium-99m ((99m)Tc) to preformed hexosomes using the polyamine 1, 12-diamino-3, 6, 9-triazododecane (SpmTrien) as chelating agent. We also report on the unsuccessful labeling of cubosomes using the well-known chelating agent hexamethylpropyleneamine oxime (HMPAO). The (99m)Tc-labeled SpmTrien-hexosomes ((99m)Tc-SpmTrien-hexosomes) were synthesized with good radiolabeling (84%) and high radiochemical purity (>90%). The effect of radiolabeling on the internal nanostructure and the overall size of these aqueous dispersions was investigated by using synchrotron small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), dynamic light scattering (DLS), and transmission electron cryo microscopy (cryo-TEM). Further, we show the utility of (99m)Tc-SpmTrien-hexosomes for the in vivo imaging of healthy mice using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) in combination with computed tomography (CT), i.e. SPECT/CT. SPECT/CT experiments of subcutaneously administered (99m)Tc-SpmTrien-hexosomes to the flank of mice showed a high stability in vivo allowing imaging of the distribution of the radiolabeled hexosomes for up to 24 h. These injected (99m)Tc-SpmTrien-hexosomes formed a deposit within the subcutaneous adipose tissue, displaying a high biodistribution of ∼343% injected dose/g tissue (%ID/g), with negligible uptake in other organs and tissues. The developed (99m)Tc labeling method for PHYT/OA-based hexosomes could further serve as a useful tool for investigating and imaging the in vivo performance of cubosomal and hexosomal drug nanocarriers.
Biomaterials, 2013, Vol 34, Issue 33, p. 8491-8503