Theranostics 2012; 2(1):45-54. doi:10.7150/thno.3448 This issue
Department of Chemistry and Bio-Imaging Research Center (BIRC), University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602
MRI is one of the most important imaging tools in clinics. It interrogates nuclei of atoms in a living subject, providing detailed delineation with high spatial and temporal resolutions. To compensate the innate low sensitivity, MRI contrast probes were developed and widely used. These are typically paramagnetic or superparamagnetic materials, functioning by reducing relaxation times of nearby protons. Previously, gadolinium(Gd)-based T1 contrast probes were dominantly used. However, it was found recently that their uses are occasionally associated with nephrogenic system fibrosis (NSF), which suggests a need of finding alternatives. Among the efforts, manganese-containing nanoparticles have attracted much attention. By careful engineering, manganese nanoparticles with comparable r1 relaxivities can be yielded. Moreover, other functionalities, be a targeting motif, a therapeutic agent or a second imaging component, can be loaded onto these nanoparticles, resulting in multifunctional nanoplatforms.
Keywords: nanomedicine, MRI, manganese, contrast probes, nanoparticles, tumor imaging, theranostics.