Dendrimers are versatile macromolecules with tremendous potential as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents. Dendrimer-based agents provide distinct advantages over low-molecular-weight gadolinium chelates, including enhanced r1 relaxivity due to slow rotational dynamics, tunable pharmacokinetics that can be adapted for blood pool, liver, kidney, and lymphatic imaging, the ability to be a drug carrier, and flexibility for labeling due to their inherent multivalency. Clinical applications are increasingly being developed, particularly in lymphatic imaging. Herein we present a broad overview of dendrimer-based MRI contrast agents with attention to the unique chemistry and physical properties as well as emerging clinical applications.
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Conflict of interest: The authors have declared no conflicts of interest for this article.