Applications of radiolabelled curcumin and its derivatives in medicinal chemistry

Matteo Mari, Debora Carrozza, Erika Ferrari, Mattia Asti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Curcumin is a natural occurring molecule that has aroused much interest among researchers over the years due to its pleiotropic set of biological properties. In the nuclear medicine field, radiolabelled curcumin and curcumin derivatives have been studied as potential radiotracers for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. In the present review, the synthetic pathways, labelling methods and the preclinical investigations involving these radioactive compounds are treated. The studies entailed chemical modifications for enhancing curcumin stability, as well as its functionalisation for the labelling with several radiohalogens or metal radionuclides (fluorine-18, technetium-99m, gallium-68, etc.). Although some drawbacks have yet to be addressed, and none of the radiolabelled curcuminoids have so far achieved clinical application, the studies performed hitherto provide useful insights and lay the foundation for further developments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7410
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 10 2021


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Curcumin
  • Curcuminoids
  • Radioactive labelling
  • Radionuclides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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