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Bio Imaging (Contrast Agents)

Bio Imaging (Contrast Agents)

Nanoparticle-based contrast agents are a rapidly growing and increasingly valuable tool for enhancing medical diagnostics for a wide range of bio imaging modalities.

Benefits of using nanoparticle-based contrast agents

Nanoparticle surfaces can be conjugated with targeting species such as antibodies, aptamers, peptides etc., giving particles the ability to self-assemble at malignant sites. This enables nanoparticle-based imaging probes to be substantially more specific than the conventional (molecular based) contrast agents.

Other benefits include:

  • Reduction in material needed to achieve a set contrast
  • Long blood-pool residence times
  • Ability to undertake single cell tracking
  • Substantially reduced toxicity within living systems

Nanoparticle-based contrast agents performance factors

Precision control over nanoparticle size, shape and architecture is particularly important in the context of medical diagnostics for two major reasons:

  • Physical attributes of the particles determine their behavior in the living system i.e. control of aspects such as residence time, preference for aggregation in specific organs, toxicity etc.
  • Physical attributes of the particles determine their ability to provide contrast i.e. determine their ability to fluoresce, scatter light or interact with the external magnetic field.

Typically, nanoparticle suppliers provide non-uniform or polydisperse (CV values >20%) materials with varying particle sizes, shapes and architectures. The material properties vary (e.g. produce a range of emission frequencies) in non-uniform or polydisperse materials, resulting in substantially diminished targeting and contrast ability.

Benefits of Particle Works nanomaterials

Particle Works offers a range of highly monodisperse (CV values <10%) nanoparticles for applications in bio imaging. These performance materials bring benefits such as:

  • High degree of specificity
  • High signal-to-noise ratios
  • Reproducibility

Products for bio imaging applications

Gold Nanoparticles For light scattering contrast agents we recommend PEG functionalized Gold nanoparticles
Quantum dots When processing in organic solvents, we  recommend CdSe quantum dots in toluene
  When processing in aqueous solvents, we recommend mercaptosuccinic acid functionalized CdSe quantum dots (available on request only)
Magnetic nanoparticles For magnetic contrast agents, we recommend PEG functionalized Oxidatively Stable Cobalt Nanoparticles (available on request only)