Radiopaque iodinated nano-emulsions for preclinical X-ray imaging
The context of the this research is the development of nanoparticulate systems exhibiting long circulation times in the blood pool, loaded with X-ray contrasting compounds, to be used as blood pool contrast agents in computed tomography. This study presents an original, new and simple formulation of radiopaque nano-emulsions composed of iodinated oil, formed by a spontaneous emulsification method. As a result, extremely monodisperse, iodinated nano-droplets were generated, ranging in size from 20 to 190 nm, presenting an iodine concentration of around 85 mg I/mL, and coated with a polyethylene glycol shell which ensured their stealth properties against the immune system in the blood stream. In vivo assays demonstrated a significant contrast effect, along with a long residence in the blood pool. This study highlights novel nano-formulations used as efficient contrast agents for preclinical X-ray imaging applications, along with simple and efficient alternatives for the generation of iodinated nano-emulsions.