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Nanomedicine (Lond). 2015;10(18):2861-79. doi: 10.2217/nnm.15.127. Epub 2015 Sep 15.

Image-driven pharmacokinetics: nanomedicine concentration across space and time.

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Department of Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


Clinical pharmacokinetics (PK) primarily measures the concentration of drugs in the blood. For nanomedicines it may be more relevant to determine concentration within a target tissue. The emerging field of image-driven PK, which utilizes clinically accepted molecular imaging technology, empirically and noninvasively, measures concentration in multiple tissues. Image-driven PK represents the intersection of PK and biodistribution, combining to provide models of concentration across space and time. Image-driven PK can be used both as a research tool and in the clinic. This review explores the history of pharmacokinetics, technologies used in molecular imaging (especially positron emission tomography) and research using image-driven pharmacokinetic analysis. When standardized, image-driven PK may have significant implications in preclinical development as well as clinical optimization of targeted nanomedicines.


biodistribution; image-driven; molecular imaging; pharmacokinetics; positron emission tomography

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