Article

An Early Investigation of Ytterbium Nanocolloids for Selective and Quantitative "Multicolor" Spectral CT Imaging

C-TRAIN and Division of Cardiology, Washington University School of Medicine, 4320 Forest Park Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri 63108, United States.
ACS Nano (Impact Factor: 12.03). 03/2012; 6(4):3364-70. DOI: 10.1021/nn300392x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We report a novel molecular imaging agent based on ytterbium designed for use with spectral "multicolor" computed tomography (CT). Spectral CT or multicolored CT provides all of the benefits of traditional CT, such as rapid tomographic X-ray imaging, but in addition, it simultaneously discriminates metal-rich contrast agents based on the element's unique X-ray K-edge energy signature. Our synthetic approach involved the use of organically soluble Yb(III) complex to produce nanocolloids of Yb of noncrystalline nature incorporating a high density of Yb (>500K/nanoparticle) into a stable metal particle. The resultant particles are constrained to vasculature (∼200 nm) and are highly selective for binding fibrin in the ruptured atherosclerotic plaque. Nanoparticles exhibited excellent signal sensitivity, and the spectral CT technique uniquely discriminates the K-edge signal (60 keV) of Yb from calcium (bones). Bioelimination and preliminary biodistribution reflected the overall safety and defined clearance of these particles in a rodent model.

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