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Advanced Materials

Nano-Sized CT Contrast Agents

Authors

  • Nohyun Lee,

    1. Center for Nanoparticle Research, Institute for Basic Science and School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-744 South Korea
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  • Seung Hong Choi,

    1. Center for Nanoparticle Research, Institute for Basic Science, and Department of Radiology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 110-744, South Korea
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  • Taeghwan Hyeon

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Nanoparticle Research, Institute for Basic Science and School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-744 South Korea
    • Center for Nanoparticle Research, Institute for Basic Science and School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-744 South Korea.
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Abstract

Computed tomography (CT) is one of the most widely used clinical imaging modalities. In order to increase the sensitivity of CT, small iodinated compounds are used as injectable contrast agents. However, the iodinated contrast agents are excreted through the kidney and have short circulation times. This rapid renal clearance not only restricts in vivo applications that require long circulation times but also sometimes induces serious adverse effects related to the excretion pathway. In addition, the X-ray attenuation of iodine is not efficient for clinical CT that uses high-energy X-ray. Due to these limitations, nano-sized iodinated CT contrast agents have been developed that can increase the circulation time and decrease the adverse effects. In addition to iodine, nanoparticles based on heavy atoms such as gold, lanthanides, and tantalum are used as more efficient CT contrast agents. In this review, we summarize the recent progresses made in nano-sized CT contrast agents.

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