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WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol
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Nanoformulations for molecular MRI

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Abstract Nanoscale contrast agents have shown the ability to increase the detection sensitivity of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) by several orders of magnitude, endowing this traditionally macroscopic modality with the ability to observe unique molecular signatures. Herein, we describe three types of nanoparticulate contrast agents: iron oxide nanoparticles, gadolinium‐based nanoparticles, and bio‐essential manganese, cobalt, nickel, and copper ion‐containing nanoformulations. Some of these agents have been approved for clinical use, but more are still under development for medical imaging. The advantages and disadvantages of each nanoformulation, in terms of intrinsic magnetism, ease of synthesis, biodistribution, etc. are discussed. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol 2012, 4:448–457. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1170 This article is categorized under: Diagnostic Tools > Diagnostic Nanodevices Diagnostic Tools > In Vivo Nanodiagnostics and Imaging

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Signal change in MRI over time after (a) SDIO or (b) DIO injection. The ligated carotid artery is denoted by the yellow arrow, and the control carotid artery is denoted by the red arrow. Circles indicate the ROI measures used to derive the contrast ratio (CR) metric (scale bar = 10 mm. L = left, R = right, green box shows magnification area, white arrow denotes the trachea). (Reprinted with permission from Ref 19. Copyright 2011 Elsevier Ltd.)

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T1‐weighted gradient echo MRI images of fibrin‐targeted nanocolloids: (a) ManOC; (b) control nanocolloid (ConNC, no MnO or Mn‐oleate); (c) non‐targeted‐ManOL (no biotin); and (d) ManOL, bound to cylindrical plasma clots measured at 3T. (Reprinted with permission from Ref 49. Copyright 2009 Royal Society of Chemistry)

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(a) A representative illustration of gadonanotubes. Clusters of internally loaded Gd3+ ions are located at defect sites along the nanocapsule sidewalls. (b) TEM images of a gadonanotube‐labeled MSC. Red arrows point to gadonanotube aggregates in the cytoplasm. Yellow arrows point to ribosomes of the endoplasmic reticulum. Scale bar = 1 µm. (Reprinted with permission from Ref 46. Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V.).

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(a) Structural representation of the trimetallic nitride template metallofullerene‐based theranostic agent Gd3[email protected]80. Therapeutic, covalent linkage, and diagnostic regions are denoted by pink, purple, and blue, respectively. (b) Dynamic equilibrium of aqueous clustering properties of Gd3[email protected]80, which shifts to larger clusters with decreasing pH. (Reprinted with permission from Ref 41. Copyright 2011 Radiological Society of North America)

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SPIO‐labeled human neural precursor stem cells can be tracked in longitudinal MR studies. Mice were stereotactically implanted in R hemisphere with 2.5 × 103 viable Endorem‐labeled cells and in the contralateral hemisphere (L) with the same number of cells labeled with Endorem plus PLL. One day after implantation, cells were detectable at the injection sites as hypointense spots in T2 images. The MR signal remained stable up to the latest time point (28 days) analyzed. (Reprinted with permission from Ref 24. Copyright 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.)

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