There are few reported methods for combining two or three different imaging dyes, metals, or dye-metal combinations, followed by the conjugation of a disease- targeting group to enable the use a given imaging system for multiple imaging applications. Previously, peptides have been used as scaffolds for dyes and metals used in diagnostic techniques such as optical molecular imaging (OMI), positron emission tomography (PET), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The aim of this project was to reassemble peptide-based imaging agents through a modular method by coupling together modules comprised of amino acids with imaging agents attached to their side chains to form “imaging peptides,” followed by attaching a cancer-targeting group in the final step. This new modular approach for the synthesis of a diverse set of targeted molecular imaging agents (TMIAs) was optimized and exemplified by the synthesis of dual modal PET-MRI, dual OMI-MRI and dual metal (di-gadolinium for MRI), and the partial synthesis of a tri-modal OMI-PET-MRI agent. The dual modal imaging peptides were conjugated through a linker to targeting groups for lung cancer (A549 cells) and prostate cancer (PSMA positive C4-2) cells. In addition to imaging applications for early detection, active surveillance, image guided biopsies and surgery, this modular approach could potentially be used for creating therapeutic agents to treat cancer patients.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Diagnostic imaging--Materials; Cancer--Imaging; Molecular probes; Peptides--Synthesis

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Chemistry (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Chemistry and Materials Science (COS)


Hans Schmitthenner

Advisor/Committee Member

Nathan Eddingsaas

Advisor/Committee Member

Joseph Hornak


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes