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Issue 14, 2020
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Tantalum oxide nanoparticles as versatile contrast agents for X-ray computed tomography

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Abstract

Here, we describe the synthesis, characterization and in vitro and in vivo performance of a series of tantalum oxide (TaOx) based nanoparticles (NPs) for computed tomography (CT). Five distinct versions of 9–12 nm diameter silane coated TaOx nanocrystals (NCs) were fabricated by a sol–gel method with varying degrees of hydrophilicity and with or without fluorescence, with the highest reported Ta content to date (78%). Highly hydrophilic NCs were left bare and were evaluated in vivo in mice for micro-CT of full body vasculature, where following intravenous injection, TaOx NCs demonstrate high vascular CT contrast, circulation in blood for ∼3 h, and eventual accumulation in RES organs; and following injection locally in the mammary gland, where the full ductal tree structure can be clearly delineated. Partially hydrophilic NCs were encapsulated within mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNPs; TaOx@MSNPs) and hydrophobic NCs were encapsulated within poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA; TaOx@PLGA) NPs, serving as potential CT-imagable drug delivery vehicles. Bolus intramuscular injections of TaOx@PLGA NPs and TaOx@MSNPs to mimic the accumulation of NPs at a tumor site produce high signal enhancement in mice. In vitro studies on bare NCs and formulated NPs demonstrate high cytocompatibility and low dissolution of TaOx. This work solidifies that TaOx-based NPs are versatile contrast agents for CT.

Graphical abstract: Tantalum oxide nanoparticles as versatile contrast agents for X-ray computed tomography

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
12 Feb 2020
Accepted
15 Mar 2020
First published
18 Mar 2020

Nanoscale, 2020,12, 7720-7734
Article type
Paper

Tantalum oxide nanoparticles as versatile contrast agents for X-ray computed tomography

S. Chakravarty, J. M. L. Hix, K. A. Wiewiora, M. C. Volk, E. Kenyon, D. D. Shuboni-Mulligan, B. Blanco-Fernandez, M. Kiupel, J. Thomas, L. F. Sempere and E. M. Shapiro, Nanoscale, 2020, 12, 7720
DOI: 10.1039/D0NR01234C

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