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Endocrinology. 2010 Feb;151(2):474-81. doi: 10.1210/en.2009-1012. Epub 2009 Dec 16.

Nanoparticles for molecular imaging--an overview.

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  • 1School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia.


Molecular imaging is a technique for quantifying physiological changes in vivo using imaging probes, or beacons, which can be detected noninvasively. This field of study has advanced rapidly in recent years, in part due to the application of nanotechnology. The versatility of different imaging modalities has been significantly enhanced by innovative nanoparticle development. These nanoprobes can be used to image specific cells and tissues within a whole organism. Some of the nanoparticles under development may be useful to measure biological processes associated with human disease and help monitor how these change with treatment. This review highlights some of the recent advances in nanoparticles for molecular imaging. It also addresses issues that arise with the use of nanoparticles. Whereas much of the technology remains at an experimental stage, the potential for enhancing disease diagnosis and treatment is considerable.

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