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J Control Release. 2007 Oct 8;122(3):269-77. Epub 2007 Jun 27.

Polymer platforms for drug delivery and biomedical imaging.

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Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108, United States.


Biocompatible synthetic polymers have demonstrated advantageous pharmacokinetic properties as compared to small molecular agents. Incorporation of low molecular weight therapeutics and imaging agents into biocompatible polymers can optimize their pharmacokinetic properties with improved efficacy of therapy and diagnostic imaging, respectively. We have applied the concept of drug delivery to design safe and effective contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and used biomedical imaging in non-invasive evaluation of drug delivery and image-guided therapy. We summarize here the recent progress in our research on biodegradable macromolecular MRI contrast agents, non-invasive visualization of in vivo drug delivery of polymeric conjugates with contrast enhanced MRI, and contrast enhanced MRI guided photodynamic therapy. The preliminary results have shown that biocompatible polymers can be used as an effective platform for drug delivery and biomedical imaging. Safe and effective imaging agents can be designed by using the concept of polymeric drug delivery. Biomedical imaging can be used as a non-invasive method for the evaluation of in vivo drug delivery of polymeric drug delivery systems. The combination of drug delivery and biomedical imaging can result in image-guided therapies, which include tumor detection, therapy and non-invasive evaluation of therapeutic responses.

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