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Issue 37, 2012
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Paramagnetic nanoparticle T1 and T2 MRI contrast agents

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There is no doubt that magnetic resonance imaging contrast agents (MRI CAs) can play a vital role in diagnosing diseases. Therefore, demand for new MRI CAs with an enhanced sensitivity and advanced functionalities is very high. Here, paramagnetic nanoparticles (NPs) are reviewed as new potential candidates for either T1 or T2 MRI CAs or both. These include surface coated lanthanide (Ln) oxide NPs (Ln = Gd, Dy, and Ho) and manganese oxide NPs. Surface coating materials should be biocompatible and hydrophilic. Compared to conventional large NPs, these surface coated paramagnetic NPs can be made ultrasmall with core particle diameter ranging from 1 to 3 nm, but their magnetic properties are still sufficient for MRI CAs. At this particle diameter, they can be easily excreted from the body through the renal system, which is prerequisite for in vivo applications. Mixed lanthanide oxide NPs into which a fluorescent Ln material is incorporated will be valuable as multiple imaging agents for both MRI-fluorescent imaging (FI) and MRI-cellular imaging (CL). These paramagnetic NPs can be further functionalized towards target-specific imaging, multiplex imaging, and drug delivery.

Graphical abstract: Paramagnetic nanoparticle T1 and T2 MRI contrast agents

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Publication details

The article was received on 27 Apr 2012, accepted on 19 Jul 2012 and first published on 20 Jul 2012

Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/C2CP41357D
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2012,14, 12687-12700

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    Paramagnetic nanoparticle T1 and T2 MRI contrast agents

    W. Xu, K. Kattel, J. Y. Park, Y. Chang, T. J. Kim and G. H. Lee, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2012, 14, 12687
    DOI: 10.1039/C2CP41357D

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