Theranostics 2011; 1:135-148. doi:10.7150/thno/v01p0135


Multimodality Imaging of Integrin αvβ3 Expression

Yin Zhang1, Yunan Yang1, Weibo Cai1,2

1. Departments of Radiology and Medical Physics, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin - Madison, USA
2. University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Madison, WI, USA


Over the last decade, integrin αvβ3 has been studied with every single molecular imaging modality. Since no single modality is perfect and sufficient to obtain all the necessary information for a particular question, combination of certain molecular imaging modalities can offer synergistic advantages over any modality alone. This review will focus on multimodality imaging of integrin αvβ3 expression, where the contrast agent used can be detected by two or more imaging modalities, such as combinations of PET and optical, SPECT and fluorescence, PET and MRI, SPECT and MRI, and lastly, MRI and fluorescence. Most of these agents are based on certain type(s) of nanoparticles. Contrast agents that can be detected by more than two imaging modalities are expected to emerge in the future and a PET/MRI/fluorescence agent will likely find the most future biomedical/clinical applications. Big strides have been made over the last decade for imaging integrin αvβ3 expression and several PET/SPECT probes have been tested in human studies. For dualmodality and multimodality imaging applications, a number of proof-of-principle studies have been reported which opened up many new avenues for future research. The next decade will likely witness further growth and continued prosperity of molecular imaging studies focusing on integrin αvβ3, which can eventually impact patient management.

Keywords: molecular imaging, integrin αvβ3, cancer, nanoparticle, multimodality imaging

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How to cite this article:
Zhang Y, Yang Y, Cai W. Multimodality Imaging of Integrin αvβ3 Expression. Theranostics 2011; 1:135-148. doi:10.7150/thno/v01p0135. Available from