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Annu Rev Biomed Eng. 2013;15:253-82. doi: 10.1146/annurev-bioeng-071812-152409. Epub 2013 Apr 29.

Multifunctional nanoparticles for drug delivery and molecular imaging.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA.


Recent advances in nanotechnology and growing needs in biomedical applications have driven the development of multifunctional nanoparticles. These nanoparticles, through nanocrystalline synthesis, advanced polymer processing, and coating and functionalization strategies, have the potential to integrate various functionalities, simultaneously providing (a) contrast for different imaging modalities, (b) targeted delivery of drug/gene, and (c) thermal therapies. Although still in its infancy, the field of multifunctional nanoparticles has shown great promise in emerging medical fields such as multimodal imaging, theranostics, and image-guided therapies. In this review, we summarize the techniques used in the synthesis of complex nanostructures, review the major forms of multifunctional nanoparticles that have emerged over the past few years, and provide a perceptual vision of this important field of nanomedicine.

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