Polymeric nanoparticles for molecular imaging
Article first published online: 10 MAR 2014
© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology
Volume 6, Issue 3, pages 245–267, May/June 2014
How to Cite
Srikar, R., Upendran, A. and Kannan, R. (2014), Polymeric nanoparticles for molecular imaging. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol, 6: 245–267. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1259
- Issue published online: 11 APR 2014
- Article first published online: 10 MAR 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 13 JAN 2014
- Manuscript Revised: 9 JAN 2014
- Manuscript Received: 31 OCT 2013
- Departments of Radiology and Bioengineering, and University of Missouri Fast track economic development award
- Michael J. and Sharon R. Bukstein Faculty Professorship endowment
- MU iCATS Faculty Innovator Award
- Fast Track Economic Development Award
- NIH-SBIR Phase II funding program, Coulter Translational Program Bridge Funding award
- Mizzou Advantage award
Conventional imaging technologies (X-ray computed tomography, magnetic resonance, and optical) depend on contrast agents to visualize a target site or organ of interest. The imaging agents currently used in clinics for diagnosis suffer from disadvantages including poor target specificity and in vivo instability. Consequently, delivery of low concentrations of contrast agents to region of interest affects image quality. Therefore, it is important to selectively deliver high payload of contrast agent to obtain clinically useful images. Nanoparticles offer multifunctional capabilities to transport high concentrations of imaging probes selectively to diseased site inside the body. Polymeric nanoparticles, incorporated with contrast agents, have shown significant benefits in molecular imaging applications. These materials possess the ability to encapsulate different contrast agents within a single matrix enabling multimodal imaging possibilities. The materials can be surface conjugated to target-specific biomolecules for controlling the navigation under in vivo conditions. The versatility of this class of nanomaterials makes them an attractive platform for developing highly sensitive molecular imaging agents. The research community's progress in the area of synthesis of polymeric nanomaterials and their in vivo imaging applications has been noteworthy, but it is still in the pioneer stage of development. The challenges ahead should focus on the design and fabrication of these materials including burst release of contrasts agents, solubility, and stability issues of polymeric nanomaterials.
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Conflict of interest: The authors declare no competing financial interest.