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Potential Use of Nanoparticle Based Contrast Agents in MRI: A Molecular Imaging Perspective

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The development of molecular imaging technologies represents the opportunity to differentiate tissues based upon their metabolic and functional activity rather than structural and anatomic characteristics. The goal of molecular imaging is to reveal the pathophysiology underlying the observed anatomy and to diagnose disease based upon early biochemical processes. Detection of pathologic biomarkers can lead to early recognition of diseases, better therapeutic management, and improved monitoring for recurrence. Among the current clinical imaging modalities, MRI is uniquely suited for molecular imaging applications, offering a non-invasive means to obtain both anatomic and metabolic/functional information with high spatial and temporal resolution. Site-specific MRI contrast agents have been developed to target biologic processes that occur early in the development of diseases such as atherosclerotic plaques, tumor angiogenesis, and disease specific biosignatures. Furthermore, early disease recognition, prompting therapeutic intervention and drug delivery evaluation are possible using targeted contrast agents.
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Keywords: GADOLINIUM CONTRAST AGENTS; MAGNETIC NANOPARTICLES; MOLECULAR BIOMARKERS; MOLECULAR IMAGING; MOLECULAR MRI; MOLECULAR TARGETING; SUPERPARAMAGNETIC IRON OXIDE NANOPARTICLES

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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  • Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology (JBN) is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal providing broad coverage in all research areas focused on the applications of nanotechnology in medicine, drug delivery systems, infectious disease, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, and all other related fields of life sciences.
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