Colloidal Gold Nanoparticles as a Blood-Pool Contrast Agent for X-ray Computed Tomography in Mice

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Objectives:To present the pharmacokinetics and computed tomographic imaging efficacy of colloidal gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) as a blood-pool agent for x-ray computed tomography (CT).Methods and Materials:To prepare the colloidal AuNPs, gold nanocrystals were modified using sulfhydrated polyethylene glycol (PEG). Cytotoxicity and histopathologic tests were carried out for toxicity evaluation. Six adult Balb/c mice underwent microcomputed tomography scans after injection of colloidal AuNPs (2.5 μmol Au/g body weight). Four mice with HT-1080 tumors were imaged for visualization of the tumor vasculature.Results:The PEG coated colloidal AuNPs appeared as spherical nanoparticles with 38-nm diameters. The AuNPs-PEG showed a biocompatibility without toxicity in the mice. We identified a stable imaging window for visualizing the vasculature system, immediately to 24 hours after injection. Microcomputed tomography imaging using AuNPs-PEG clearly visualized the tumor vascular structures.Conclusion:Colloidal AuNPs show potential as a blood-pool agent for x-ray CT imaging.

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