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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2010 Jan;30(1):15-35. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2009.192. Epub 2009 Sep 16.

Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles: diagnostic magnetic resonance imaging and potential therapeutic applications in neurooncology and central nervous system inflammatory pathologies, a review.

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  • 1Department of Neurological Surgery, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon 97239, USA.


Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles have diverse diagnostic and potential therapeutic applications in the central nervous system (CNS). They are useful as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents to evaluate: areas of blood-brain barrier (BBB) dysfunction related to tumors and other neuroinflammatory pathologies, the cerebrovasculature using perfusion-weighted MRI sequences, and in vivo cellular tracking in CNS disease or injury. Novel, targeted, nanoparticle synthesis strategies will allow for a rapidly expanding range of applications in patients with brain tumors, cerebral ischemia or stroke, carotid atherosclerosis, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, and epilepsy. These strategies may ultimately improve disease detection, therapeutic monitoring, and treatment efficacy especially in the context of antiangiogenic chemotherapy and antiinflammatory medications. The purpose of this review is to outline the current status of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles in the context of biomedical nanotechnology as they apply to diagnostic MRI and potential therapeutic applications in neurooncology and other CNS inflammatory conditions.

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