Activation imaging of drugs with hybrid Compton camera: A proof-of-concept study

N. Koshikawa*, A. Omata, M. Masubuchi, Y. Okazaki, J. Kataoka, K. Matsunaga, H. Kato, A. Toyoshima, Y. Wakabayashi, T. Kobayashi

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    The visualization of drugs is essential for cancer treatment. Although several methods for visualizing drugs have been proposed, a versatile method that can be easily applied to various drugs has not yet been established. Therefore, we propose "activation imaging,"in which a drug is irradiated with thermal neutrons and becomes radioactive, enabling visualization using emitted x rays and/or gamma rays. Activation imaging does not require the conjugation of specific tracers with drugs. Therefore, it can be easily applied to a variety of drugs, drug carriers (e.g., metal nanoparticles), and contrast agents. In this study, neutron activation, gamma-ray spectroscopy, and imaging of drug carriers, anticancer drug, and contrast agents were performed. Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and platinum nanoparticles were used as drug carriers, cisplatin was used as an anticancer drug, and gadoteridol and iohexol were used as contrast agents. As a neutron source, the RIKEN accelerator-driven compact neutron source II (RANS-II) was utilized. The imaging was performed using a hybrid Compton camera (HCC). The HCC can visualize x rays and gamma rays ranging from a few keV to nearly 1 MeV, which enables the imaging of various x rays and gamma rays emitted from the activated drugs. As a result, the gamma-ray spectra indicated the generation of radioisotopes through neutron irradiation, and AuNPs and iohexol were visualized.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number193701
    JournalApplied Physics Letters
    Issue number19
    Publication statusPublished - 2022 Nov 7

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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