Radiolabeled Chemical Synthesis

In early drug development stage, placing a radioactive tag at a metabolically stable site on the investigational drug molecule...

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Radiolabeled Chemical Synthesis

The nucleus of each atom consists of protons and neutrons. The number of protons defines the element and the sum of protons and neutrons gives the atomic mass, while the number of neutron defines the isotopes of that element. For example, most carbon has 6 protons and 6 neutrons, and it is written as 12C, which represents its atomic mass. However, about 1% of the earth's carbon has 6 protons and 7 neutrons (13C), forming a stable isotope of this important element. Stable isotopes do not decay into other elements. On the contrary, radioisotopes (such as 14C) are unstable and easily decay into other elements. In general, the less abundant stable isotopes have one or two additional neutrons than protons. Both heavy and light stable isotopes are free to participate in chemical reactions and biological and geochemical processes, but the rates during the reactions are different. The light stable isotopes react faster than the heavy ones.

Radolabelled Chemical SynthesisFig. 1 The Three Isotopes of Hydrogen

Methods of Stable Isotopes Synthesis

  • Inorganic synthesis: Inorganic synthesis can be used to prepare 15N labeled ammonium chloride, ammonium nitrate, potassium nitrate, urea and ammonium sulfate. These products can be used as raw materials or precursors. On the other hand, they are also used as fertilizer tracer, directly applied to the research of agriculture and ecological environment.
  • Organic synthesis: The organic and catalytic synthesis is commonly used in synthesizing 15N labeled glycine, hydroxylamine hydrochloride, 13C labeled ethanol, methanol, methyl iodide, acetic acid, acetaldehyde, benzene and other basic reagents.
  • Biosynthesis: 15N labeled amino acid products, some labeled biological products such as 15N and 13C double labeled amino acids and 15N labeled Spirulina are prepared by microbial fermentation technology from biosynthesis.
  • Organic biosynthesis: 15N labeled L- or D-amino acids, amino acids with protective groups and polypeptides can be prepared by organic biosynthesis.

Why Choose BOC Sciences?

BOC Sciences provides high-quality, low-cost, high-tech products to customers around the world. We has employed a dedicated staff of professional chemists to help you develop the most efficient process for synthesis of complex drug substances. We can provide following radiolabeled chemical synthesis:

  • 14C Radiolabeling
  • 3H Radiolabeling
  • 32P Radiolabeling
  • 35S Radiolabeling
  • 125I Radiolabeling

Each step of product synthesis is subject to BOC Sciences’ stringent quality control. Typical delivery specifications include:

  • In quantities of several milligrams up to 100 grams.
  • Additional analyses, such as stability determination, impurity analysis, and residual solvents etc.
  • With diverse state-of-the-art technologies and approaches.
  • Quality assurance: HPLC chromatogram and Mass spec analysis.
  • Overnight shipping with suitable packs.


  1. Hu, D. X., Withall, D. M., Challis, G. L., & Thomson, R. J. (2016). Structure, chemical synthesis, and biosynthesis of prodiginine natural products. Chemical reviews, 116(14), 7818-7853.
  2. Roy, S. N., Orr, G. A., Brewer, C. F., & Horwitz, S. B. (1981). Chemical synthesis of radiolabeled bleomycin A2 and its binding to DNA.
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