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    ABSTRACT: Hydrophobically modified glycol chitosan (hGC) conjugates spontaneously form self-assembled nanoparticles (NPs) in aqueous conditions, and glycol chitosan NPs (CNPs) have been extensively studied for the past few decades. For disease-specific theranostics, CNPs could be simply modified with imaging agents, and the hydrophobic domains of hGC are available for encapsulation of various drugs. Based on the excellent physiochemical and biological properties, CNPs have been investigated for multimodal imaging and target specific drug delivery. In particular, a recent application of CNPs has shown great potential as an efficient theranostic system because the CNPs could be utilized for a disease-specific theranostic delivery system of different imaging agents and therapeutics, simultaneously. Furthermore, various therapeutic agents including chemo-drugs, nucleotides, peptides, and photodynamic chemicals could be simply encapsulated into the CNPs through hydrophobic or charge-charge interactions. Under in vivo conditions, the encapsulated imaging agents and therapeutic drugs have been successfully delivered to targeted diseases. In this article, the overall research progress on CNPs is reviewed from early works. The current challenges of CNPs to overcome in theranostics are also discussed, and continuous studies would provide more opportunities for early diagnosis of diseases and personalized medicine.
    Journal of Controlled Release 05/2014; · 7.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Microbubbles have been used for many years now in clinical practice as contrast agents in ultrasound imaging. Recently, their therapeutic applications have also attracted more attention. However, the short circulation time (minutes) and relatively large size (two to ten micrometers) of currently used commercial microbubbles do not allow effective extravasation into tumor tissue, preventing efficient tumor targeting. Fortunately, more multifunctional and theranostic nanoparticles with some special advantages over the traditional microbubbles have been widely investigated and explored for biomedical applications. The way to synthesize an ideal ultrasound contrast agent based on nanoparticles in order to achieve an expected effect on contrast imaging is a key technique. Currently a number of nanomaterials, including liposomes, polymers, micelles, dendrimers, emulsions, quantum dots, solid nanoparticles etc., have already been applied to pre or clinical trials. Multifunctional and theranostic nanoparticles with some special advantages, such as the tumor-targeted (passive or active), multi-mode contrast agents (magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasonography or fluorescence), carrier or enhancer of drug delivery, and combined chemo or thermal therapy etc., are rapidly gaining popularity and have shown a promising application in the field of cancer treatment. In this mini review, the trends and the advances of multifunctional and theranostic nanoparticles are briefly discussed.
    World journal of radiology. 12/2013; 5(12):468-471.
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    ABSTRACT: A series of hollow silica nanospheres (HSNSs) with sizes ranging from 100 to 400 nm were synthesized and used for primary ultrasound imaging (US) efficiency assessment. The 400 nm HSNSs were chosen as platform for conjugation with Gd-DTPA and cyclo-arginine-glycine-aspartic acid c(RGD) peptide to construct US and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) dual-modal contrast agents (CAs): [HSNSs@(DTPA-Gd)-RGD]. The obtained CAs displayed good physiological stability, low cytotoxicity and negligible hemolytic activity in vitro. Furthermore, the passive accumulation and active-targeting of the HSNSs in the tumor site of mice was demonstrated by US and MR imaging, respectively. The qualitative and quantitative biodistribution of the HSNSs showed that they mainly accumulated in the tissues of liver, lung, tumor after intravenous administration and then be excreted from feces. In addition, histological, hematological, blood and biochemical analysis were used to further study toxicity of the HSNSs, and all results indicated that there were no covert toxicity of HSNSs in mice after long exposure times. Findings from this study indicated that the silica-based paramagnetic HSNSs can be used as a platform for long-term targeted imaging and therapy studies safely in vivo.
    Biomaterials 04/2014; · 8.31 Impact Factor

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