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Molecules 2013, 18(5), 5858-5890; doi:10.3390/molecules18055858

Gold Nanoparticle Contrast Agents in Advanced X-ray Imaging Technologies

1, 2 and 1,2,*
1 Biofluid and Biomimic Research Center, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang 790-784, Korea 2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang 790-784, Korea
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 March 2013 / Revised: 30 April 2013 / Accepted: 14 May 2013 / Published: 17 May 2013
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Recently, there has been significant progress in the field of soft- and hard-X-ray imaging for a wide range of applications, both technically and scientifically, via developments in sources, optics and imaging methodologies. While one community is pursuing extensive applications of available X-ray tools, others are investigating improvements in techniques, including new optics, higher spatial resolutions and brighter compact sources. For increased image quality and more exquisite investigation on characteristic biological phenomena, contrast agents have been employed extensively in imaging technologies. Heavy metal nanoparticles are excellent absorbers of X-rays and can offer excellent improvements in medical diagnosis and X-ray imaging. In this context, the role of gold (Au) is important for advanced X-ray imaging applications. Au has a long-history in a wide range of medical applications and exhibits characteristic interactions with X-rays. Therefore, Au can offer a particular advantage as a tracer and a contrast enhancer in X-ray imaging technologies by sensing the variation in X-ray attenuation in a given sample volume. This review summarizes basic understanding on X-ray imaging from device set-up to technologies. Then this review covers recent studies in the development of X-ray imaging techniques utilizing gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and their relevant applications, including two- and three-dimensional biological imaging, dynamical processes in a living system, single cell-based imaging and quantitative analysis of circulatory systems and so on. In addition to conventional medical applications, various novel research areas have been developed and are expected to be further developed through AuNP-based X-ray imaging technologies.
Keywords: gold nanoparticles (AuNPs); X-ray imaging; contrast agent gold nanoparticles (AuNPs); X-ray imaging; contrast agent
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Ahn, S.; Jung, S.Y.; Lee, S.J. Gold Nanoparticle Contrast Agents in Advanced X-ray Imaging Technologies. Molecules 2013, 18, 5858-5890.

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