Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Imaging Biol. 2013 Oct;15(5):507-20. doi: 10.1007/s11307-013-0648-5.

Pharmacokinetic issues of imaging with nanoparticles: focusing on carbon nanotubes and quantum dots.

Author information

Department of Radiology, University of Wisconsin, Room 7137, 1111 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI, USA.


With many desirable properties, nanoparticles hold tremendous potential for in vivo molecular imaging and improving the efficacy of small-molecule drugs. The pharmacokinetics (PK) and tissue distribution of nanoparticles largely define their in vivo performance and potential toxicity, which are fundamental issues that need to be elucidated. In this review article, we summarized how molecular imaging techniques (e.g., positron emission tomography, fluorescence imaging, etc.) can facilitate the investigation of PK profiles of nanoparticles using carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and quantum dots (QDs) as representative examples. Different imaging techniques can provide useful insights in monitoring the in vivo behavior and tissue distribution of these nanoparticles, and a number of strategies were utilized to optimize the PK profiles of CNTs and QDs. Based on the available literature reports, it can be concluded that chemical/physical properties of the nanoparticles (e.g., surface functionalization, hydrodynamic size, shape, surface charge, etc.), along with the administration routes/doses, can play critical roles in determining the PK and biodistribution pattern of nanoparticles. Robust chemistry for surface modification of nanoparticles is a prerequisite for successful future biomedical/clinical applications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center