University of Notre Dame,
Keywords: Nanoparticle Imaging, Computed Tomography
Summary:X-ray computed tomography (CT) provides non-invasive, three-dimensional, anatomic imaging at high spatial resolution and relatively low cost for clinical diagnostic imaging. However, CT is limited by relatively low sensitivity and soft tissue contrast. Therefore, we are investigating nanoparticle imaging probes to address these limitations and enable quantitative molecular imaging with CT. Core-shell nanoparticles are engineered provide a powerful platform for designing tailored imaging probes. The composition of the core is chosen for enabling strong X-ray contrast, multi-agent imaging with a spectral library of core compositions, and multimodal imaging. A silica shell is used for protective, biocompatible encapsulation of the core composition, volume-loading fluorophores or radionuclides for multimodal imaging, and facile surface functionalization with antibodies or small molecules for targeted delivery. Examples will be presented to demonstrate quantitative molecular imaging of multiple probe/tissue compositions, cell populations overexpressing biomarkers, tumors, and associated abnormalities (e.g., microcalcifications) using both conventional contrast-enhanced CT and novel photon-counting spectral CT systems.