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Target Specific Technetium and Rhenium NHC Complexes for Diagnostic and Therapeutic Applications

English title Target Specific Technetium and Rhenium NHC Complexes for Diagnostic and Therapeutic Applications
Applicant Braband Henrik
Number 159800
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut für Chemie Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Inorganic Chemistry
Start/End 01.05.2015 - 31.12.2015
Approved amount 65'000.00
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Keywords (8)

Coordination Chemistry; Organometallic Chemistry; Technetium; Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry; N-Heterocyclic Carbenes; Rhenium; Radiochemistry; Theranostic

Lay Summary (German)

Ziel-spezifische NHC-Komplexe des Technetiums und Rheniums für diagnostische und therapeutische Anwendungen
Lay summary
N-Heterozyklische Carbene (NHCs) stellen einen sehr interessanten und zu weiten Teilen unerforschten Ligandentyp für die Chemie des Technetiums und Rheniums dar. Erst vor Kurzem wurde eine generelle Synthesestrategie für die Darstellung von wasserstabilen NHC-Komplexen des {MO2}+-Typs (M = 99(m)Tc, Re) entwickelt. Dieser Durchbruch ermöglicht nun die Synthese von NHC-Komplexen des Technetiums und Rheniums für die die medizinische Forschung. Das Ziel dieses Projektes ist die Synthese und Charakterisierung von ziel-spezifischen 99mTc- und Re-NHC Verbindungen. Diese neuen Verbindungen zeichnen sich durch eine sehr hohe "in vivo" Stabilität aus  und werden zu einer neuen Klasse von Verbindungen führen, welche ein hohes Anwendungspotential in der Diagnostik (99mTc) und Therapie (Re) haben werden. Durch die Kombination eines Diagnostikums (99mTc-Verbindung) mit einem strukturell identischen Therapeutikum (Re-Verbindung), erweitert dieses Projekt das bisherige "theranostiche" Konzept von Technetium und Rhenium über die Radiodiagnostik und Radiotherapy hinaus. Dieses erweiterte Konzept unterstreicht das außerordentliche Potential des einmaligen Elementpaares Technetium und Rhenium und eröffnet dabei neue Wege für medizinische Anwendungen.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 22.04.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Name Institute


Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Prof. Dr. Gilles Gasser / Department of Chemistry University of Zurich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Working Group Meeting, COST Action: CM1105 Poster N-Heterocyclic Carbenes - Stabilizing Ligands for Various Oxidation States of Rhenium and Technetium 01.09.2015 Warschau, Poland Braband Henrik;

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
140665 N-Heterocyclic Carbenes as Stabilizing Ligands for High-Valent Technetium Chemistry 01.05.2012 Project funding (Div. I-III)


99-Techntium (99Tc) and its nuclear isomer 99m-techntium (99mTc) have an enormous impact on our society. Whereas 99Tc is a fission product in nuclear power plants, 99mTc is the choice for the synthesis of radioprobes for nuclear diagnostics. Both fields require a fundamental understanding of the chemistry of this element to avoid an accidental release into the environment (99Tc) and to push forward the possibilities for medical applications (99mTc). In the project "N-Heterocyclic Carbenes as Stabilizing Ligands for High-Valent Technetium Chemistry" it has been shown that N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) are suitable ligand systems for technetium and rhenium chemistry. Furthermore, a general synthetic pathway for the synthesis of water stable {MO2}+ type complexes (M = 99Tc, Re) has been developed and transferred into a 99mTc regime. This follow-up project is based on these results and will significantly further develop this new field of NHC chemistry. The synthesis of target specific 99mTc- and Re-NHC compounds, which have a high in vivo stability, is the next logical step and will lead to a new class of compounds for diagnostics (99mTc) and therapy (Re). Furthermore, by combining a diagnostic tool (99mTc compound) with a structurally identical and biologically active compound (Re), this project widens the ‘theranostic’ scope of technetium and rhenium beyond radiodiagnostics and radiotherapy. This will pave the way for new medical applications and will demonstrate the tremendous potential which is enabled by the unique ‘matched pair’ technetium and rhenium.