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Wiley Interdiscip Rev Nanomed Nanobiotechnol. 2010 Mar-Apr;2(2):138-50. doi: 10.1002/wnan.72.

Multifunctional imaging nanoprobes.

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  • 1Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute and Imaging Science Laboratories, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.


Multifunctional imaging nanoprobes have proven to be of great value in the research of pathological processes, as well as the assessment of the delivery, fate, and therapeutic potential of encapsulated drugs. Moreover, such probes may potentially support therapy schemes by the exploitation of their own physical properties, e.g., through thermal ablation. This review will present four classes of nanoparticulate imaging probes used in this area: multifunctional probes (1) that can be tracked with at least three different and complementary imaging techniques, (2) that carry a drug and have bimodal imaging properties, (3) that are employed for nucleic acid delivery and imaging, and (4) imaging probes with capabilities that can be used for thermal ablation. We will highlight several examples where the suitable combination of different (bio)materials like polymers, inorganic nanocrystals, fluorophores, proteins/peptides, and lipids can be tailored to manufacture multifunctional probes to accomplish nanomaterials of each of the aforementioned classes. Moreover, it will be demonstrated how multimodality imaging approaches improve our understanding of in vivo nanoparticle behavior and efficacy at different levels, ranging from the subcellular level to the whole body.

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