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Nano Today. 2009 Jun;4(3):252-261.

Molecular Imaging with Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes.

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Departments of Radiology and Medical Physics, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.


Nanoparticle-based molecular imaging has emerged as an interdisciplinary field which involves physics, chemistry, engineering, biology, and medicine. Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) have unique properties which make them suitable for applications in a variety of imaging modalities, such as magnetic resonance, near-infrared fluorescence, Raman spectroscopy, photoacoustic tomography, and radionuclide-based imaging. In this review, we will summarize the current state-of-the-art of SWCNTs in molecular imaging applications. Multifunctionality is the key advantage of nanoparticles over traditional approaches. Targeting ligands, imaging labels, therapeutic drugs, and many other agents can all be integrated into the nanoparticle to allow for targeted molecular imaging and molecular therapy by encompassing many biological and biophysical barriers. A multifunctional, SWCNT-based nanoplatform holds great potential for clinical applications in the future.

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