SU-F-T-664: The Efficacy of Gold Nanoparticles as Contrast Agents in Mice




Micro-Computed Tomography (micro-CT) has been widely used as a non-invasive, high-resolution imaging modality in preclinical research. However, tumors cannot be well distinguished, since their density are similar to those of surrounding tissues, and the tumors’ natural contrast is very low. The benefits of using Gold Nanoparticles (AuNPs) as a promising high atomic weight contrast agent have been published in recent years. The aim of this study is to investigate the efficacy of AuNPs as contrast agents using different energy x-rays.


The left flank of an immune-compromised athymic nude mouse was implanted with subcutaneous xenograft model of human lung cancer line, A549 cells (from ATCC). After 14 days, this mouse was imaged with dual energy cone-beam micro-CT. The selected energies were 45 kVp and 65 kVp. 10µg AuNPs (200 µg/ml concentration) approximately 12 nm in size were injected subcutaneously into the tumor. The mouse was imaged 0, 3 and 24 hours post-injection. During scanning, this mouse was anesthetized. All projection raw data have been optimized and then images were reconstructed with the FDK Algorithm.


Based on images, at 0 hour, AuNPs provided obvious contrast no matter which energy selected, 45 kVp or 65 kVp; and using 45 kVp X-ray, AuNps showed greater contrast. After 3 hours or evenand longer, AuNPs distributed throughout the whole body of mouse, and they were not shown clearly shown in the images.


In this study, we investigated the efficacy of AuNPs as image contrast agents at different energies with dual-energy micro-CT, using 200µg/mL of AuNPs. Sufficiently high concentrations of AuNPs are needed to be able to track intratumoral distribution. Images showed good contrast immediately following the administration of the agent but results were poor after 3 hours.