IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


Theses in progress

Optimisation of imaging methods: Cellular dosimetry of the radioactive tracers used in positron emission tomography (PET) imaging

Host laboratory: ​Internal Dose Assessment Laboratory (LEDI)

Beginning of the thesis: October 2016

Student name: Manon JACQUEMIN

Subject description

Radiolabeling of cells combined with nuclear medicine imaging provides a potential method for cell trafficking analysis in vivo. Besides, the use of β+-emitting radionuclides is of particular interest given the good intrinsic characteristics offered by PET technology. Generally, a direct labeling approach is applied in which cells are mixed with a radioactive solution and incubated in vitro at 37°C to permit the incorporation of the radionuclide intracellularly. Because the procedure implies the use of high amount of radioactivity, various studies have taken interest about the effects of labeling on cell viability and functionality. Though severe cell cytotoxicity was pointed out, e.g. reduction of proliferation capacity when labeling with 18F-FDG, not clear conclusions has been drawn from these findings. Particularly, comparison and analysis of results are limited because the observed biological effects are often evaluated as a function of added activity rather than absorbed dose delivered to the cell. To get a comprehensive assessment of the toxicity induced by the labeling procedure, this project aims to study the absorbed dose-effect relationship through the development of a realistic multi-cellular dosimetry and labeling experiments. The final objective is to propose optimal labeling protocols that allow a good tracking of cells while minimizing damages to cells.


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