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Open AccessArticle

Functionalized Gold Nanoparticles as Contrast Agents for Proton and Dual Proton/Fluorine MRI

1
Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Trieste, Via L. Giorgieri 1, 34127 Trieste, Italy
2
Neuroradiology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta, 20133 Milano, Italy
3
INSTM Trieste Research Unit, Via L. Giorgieri 1, 34127 Trieste, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(6), 879; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9060879
Received: 12 April 2019 / Revised: 1 June 2019 / Accepted: 7 June 2019 / Published: 13 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Applications of Functionalized Gold Nanosystems)
Gold nanoparticles carrying fluorinated ligands in their monolayer are, by themselves, contrast agents for 19F magnetic resonance imaging displaying high sensitivity because of the high density of fluorine nuclei achievable by grafting suitable ligands on the gold core surface. Functionalization of these nanoparticles with Gd(III) chelates allows adding a further functional activity to these systems, developing materials also acting as contrast agents for proton magnetic resonance imaging. These dual mode contrast agents may allow capitalizing on the benefits of 1H and 19F magnetic resonance imaging in a single diagnostic session. In this work, we describe a proof of principle of this approach by studying these nanoparticles in a high field preclinical scanner. The Gd(III) centers within the nanoparticles monolayer shorten considerably the 19F T1 of the ligands but, nevertheless, these systems display strong and sharp NMR signals which allow recording good quality 19F MRI phantom images at nanoparticle concentration of 20 mg/mL after proper adjustment of the imaging sequence. The Gd(III) centers also influence the T1 relaxation time of the water protons and high quality 1H MRI images could be obtained. Gold nanoparticles protected by hydrogenated ligands and decorated with Gd(III) chelates are reported for comparison as 1H MRI contrast agents. View Full-Text
Keywords: hybrid organic-inorganic nanoparticles; magnetic resonance imaging; gadolinium; contrast agents; fluorinated monolayers; fluorine; 19F MRI hybrid organic-inorganic nanoparticles; magnetic resonance imaging; gadolinium; contrast agents; fluorinated monolayers; fluorine; 19F MRI
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Şologan, M.; Padelli, F.; Giachetti, I.; Aquino, D.; Boccalon, M.; Adami, G.; Pengo, P.; Pasquato, L. Functionalized Gold Nanoparticles as Contrast Agents for Proton and Dual Proton/Fluorine MRI. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 879.

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