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Nanomaterials 2016, 6(4), 66; doi:10.3390/nano6040066

Automatic Echographic Detection of Halloysite Clay Nanotubes in a Low Concentration Range

1
National Research Council, Institute of Clinical Physiology, Lecce 73100, Italy
2
National Research Council, Institute of Nanotechnology, Lecce 73100, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Yurii Gun’ko
Received: 6 March 2016 / Revised: 1 April 2016 / Accepted: 5 April 2016 / Published: 11 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticles in Bioimaging)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2443 KB, uploaded 11 April 2016]   |  

Abstract

Aim of this work was to investigate the automatic echographic detection of an experimental drug delivery agent, halloysite clay nanotubes (HNTs), by employing an innovative method based on advanced spectral analysis of the corresponding “raw” radiofrequency backscatter signals. Different HNT concentrations in a low range (5.5–66 × 1010 part/mL, equivalent to 0.25–3.00 mg/mL) were dispersed in custom-designed tissue-mimicking phantoms and imaged through a clinically-available echographic device at a conventional ultrasound diagnostic frequency (10 MHz). The most effective response (sensitivity = 60%, specificity = 95%), was found at a concentration of 33 × 1010 part/mL (1.5 mg/mL), representing a kind of best compromise between the need of enough particles to introduce detectable spectral modifications in the backscattered signal and the necessity to avoid the losses of spectral peculiarity associated to higher HNT concentrations. Based on theoretical considerations and quantitative comparisons with literature-available results, this concentration could also represent an optimal concentration level for the automatic echographic detection of different solid nanoparticles when employing a similar ultrasound frequency. Future dedicated studies will assess the actual clinical usefulness of the proposed approach and the potential of HNTs for effective theranostic applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: ultrasound contrast agents; automatic nanoparticle detection; automatic tissue typing; halloysite clay nanotubes; cell targeting; nanoimaging ultrasound contrast agents; automatic nanoparticle detection; automatic tissue typing; halloysite clay nanotubes; cell targeting; nanoimaging
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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Conversano, F.; Pisani, P.; Casciaro, E.; Di Paola, M.; Leporatti, S.; Franchini, R.; Quarta, A.; Gigli, G.; Casciaro, S. Automatic Echographic Detection of Halloysite Clay Nanotubes in a Low Concentration Range. Nanomaterials 2016, 6, 66.

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