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Biomaterials. 2014 Jan;35(1):356-67. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2013.09.046. Epub 2013 Oct 5.

Specific lipase-responsive polymer-coated gadolinium nanoparticles for MR imaging of early acute pancreatitis.

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Research Center of Translational Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, 58# Zhongshan 2nd Road, Guangzhou 510080, China.


Currently, available methods for diagnosis of acute pancreatitis (AP) are mainly dependent on serum enzyme analysis and imaging techniques that are too low in sensitivity and specificity to accurately and promptly diagnose AP. The lack of early diagnostic tools highlights the need to search for a highly effective and specific diagnostic method. In this study, we synthesized a conditionally activated, gadolinium-containing, nanoparticle-based MRI nanoprobe as a diagnostic tool for the early identification of AP. Gadolinium diethylenetriaminepentaacetic fatty acid (Gd-DTPA-FA) nanoparticles were synthesized by conjugation of DTPA-FA ligand and gadolinium acetate. Gd-DTPA-FA exhibited low cytotoxicity and excellent biocompatibility when characterized in vitro and in vivo studies. L-arginine induced a gradual increase in the intensity of the T1-weighted MRI signal from 1 h to 36 h in AP rat models. The increase in signal intensity was most significant at 1 h, 6 h and 12 h. These results suggest that the Gd-DTPA-FA as an MRI contrast agent is highly efficient and specific to detect early AP.


Acute pancreatitis; Conditional activation; Diagnosis; Gadolinium; Magnetic resonance imaging; Nanoparticle

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