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WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol
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Dendrimers as high relaxivity MR contrast agents

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Abstract Dendrimers are versatile macromolecules with tremendous potential as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents. Dendrimer‐based agents provide distinct advantages over low‐molecular‐weight gadolinium chelates, including enhanced r1 relaxivity due to slow rotational dynamics, tunable pharmacokinetics that can be adapted for blood pool, liver, kidney, and lymphatic imaging, the ability to be a drug carrier, and flexibility for labeling due to their inherent multivalency. Clinical applications are increasingly being developed, particularly in lymphatic imaging. Herein we present a broad overview of dendrimer‐based MRI contrast agents with attention to the unique chemistry and physical properties as well as emerging clinical applications. This article is categorized under: Diagnostic Tools > In Vivo Nanodiagnostics and Imaging

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Schema of the dendrimer structure.
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Lymphatic imaging application of a dendrimer‐based magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent in a pig. Thoracic ducts (arrowheads) are clearly visualized 10 min after injection of G6 dendrimer‐based contrast agents (right panel) with a small dose (1 µmol Gd/kg) due to high relaxivity.
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Typical pharmacokinetics of represented dendrimer‐based magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents with various characteristics.
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Relaxivity profiles of dendrimer‐based MRI contrast agents compared with a small gadolinium chelate.
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