Molecular Targets and Optical Probes

Authored by: Eleni K. Efthimiadou , George Kordas

Handbook of Small Animal Imaging

Print publication date:  April  2016
Online publication date:  February  2016

Print ISBN: 9781466555686
eBook ISBN: 9781466555693
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter focuses on the various strategies in the preparation, structure, and properties of naked and surface-functionalized inorganic nanoparticles (NPs) and their toxicity profile. NP synthesis with desired size/shape has enormous importance, especially in the emerging field of nanotechnology (Jatzkewitz 1955). Nowadays, nanotechnology plays a key role in different types of theragnostic applications exploiting several NP-based properties such as the extremely small size and the functional surface area, which enable the transfer of several compounds (i.e., drugs, probes, and targeting moieties). Furthermore, NPs display, by themselves, unique features due to their optical, electronic, and magnetic properties (Smith et al. 2008). In general, NPs used for biomedical research can be roughly categorized into three groups: (1) inorganic NPs [quantum dots (QDs), iron oxide NPs (IONPs), gold NPs], (2) polymeric NPs (dendrimers and amphiphilic NPs), and (3) lipid NPs [liposomes and solid lipid NPs (SLNs)] (Xue et al. 2011).

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