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Biol Trace Elem Res. 2010 Dec;137(3):324-34. doi: 10.1007/s12011-009-8587-3. Epub 2010 Jan 5.

Properties evaluation of a new MRI contrast agent based on Gd-loaded nanoparticles.

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  • 1Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering Department, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran.


Nanosized materials of gadolinium oxide can provide high-contrast enhancement in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The aim of this research was to characterize a novel emulsion composed of a silicon-based nanocomposite polymer (NCP) and gadolinium (III) oxide (Gd₂O₃) nanoparticles. The size and morphological structure of this nanoparticle are determined by particle size analysis device (zeta sizer) and transmission electronic microscope. We determined composition of Gd₂O₃ nanoparticles with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDXA) and magnetic resonance signal by T₁-weighted MRI. Cytotoxicity of Gd₂O₃ nanoparticles in SK-MEL-3 cancer cells was evaluated. Zeta sizer showed Gd₂O₃ nanoparticles to be 75 nm in size. EDXA indicated the two main chemical components of gadolinium-nanocomposite polymer emulsion: gadolinium and silicon and MRI also showed a significantly higher incremental relaxivity for Gd₂O₃ nanoparticles compared to Magnevist (conventional contrast agent). In such concentrations, the slope of R₁ relaxivity (1/T₁) vs. concentration curve of Magnevist and Gd₂O₃ were 4.33, 7.98 s⁻¹ mM⁻¹. The slope of R₂ relaxivity (1/T₂) vs. concentration curve of Magnevist and Gd₂O₃ were 5.06, 13.75 s⁻¹ mM⁻¹. No appreciable toxicity was observed with Gd₂O₃ nanoparticles. Gadolinium-nanocomposite polymer emulsion is well characterized and has potential as a useful contrast agent for magnetic resonance molecular imaging.

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