Polymeric Gd-DOTA amphiphiles form spherical and fibril-shaped nanoparticle MRI contrast agents†
A Gd3+-coordinated polymerizable analogue of the MRI contrast agent Gd-DOTA was used to prepare amphiphilic block copolymers, with hydrophilic blocks composed entirely of the polymerized contrast agent. The resulting amphiphilic block copolymers assemble into nanoparticles (NPs) of spherical- or fibril-shape, each demonstrating enhanced relaxivity over Gd-DOTA. As an initial examination of their behavior in vivo, intraperitoneal (IP) injection of NPs into live mice was performed, showing long IP residence times, observed by MRI. Extended residence times for particles of well-defined morphology may represent a valuable design paradigm for treatment or diagnosis of peritoneal malignances.