Theranostics 2021; 11(18):9177-9179. doi:10.7150/thno.66417 This issue


High-performance renal imaging with a radiolabeled, non-excretable chimeric fusion protein

Dawei Jiang1,3, Muhsin H. Younis2, Xiaoli Lan1,3✉, Weibo Cai2✉

1. Department of Nuclear Medicine, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430022, China
2. Departments of Radiology and Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison, WI, 53705, USA
3. Hubei Key Laboratory of Molecular Imaging, Wuhan, 430022, China

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Jiang D, Younis MH, Lan X, Cai W. High-performance renal imaging with a radiolabeled, non-excretable chimeric fusion protein. Theranostics 2021; 11(18):9177-9179. doi:10.7150/thno.66417. Available from

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Commentary-article in Theranostics, Volume 11, 9118


Ideal nuclear imaging tracers should exhibit high target uptake and low background signal. Traditional renal scintigraphy and SPECT scans examine kidney function via static or dynamic tracing of radioactive probes in the kidneys. The lack of tracer affinity to specific biological processes and high background uptake from urinary excretion have added many difficulties to precision renal diagnosis. In this issue of Theranostics, Jin and colleagues innovatively devised a recombinant probe for preferential kidney imaging through targeting of tubular neonatal Fc receptor and proximal tubular basement membrane for sustained tubular reabsorption and accumulation. This work has broad implications regarding how an in depth understanding of physiology and pathology may be of service for tracer development, renal diagnosis, and disease theranostics.

Keywords: nuclear medicine, renal scan, recombinant protein, single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), polybasic tag (PBT), neonatal Fc receptor, Tc-99m