Nanoshell magnetic resonance imaging contrast agents

Chia Hao Su, Hwo Shuenn Sheu, Chia Yun Lin, Chih Chia Huang, Yi Wei Lo, Ying Chih Pu, Jun Cheng Weng, Dar Bin Shieh, Jyh Horng Chen, Chen Sheng Yeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Citations (Scopus)


Nanocontrast agents have great potential in magnetic resonance (MR) molecular imaging applications for clinical diagnosis. We synthesized Au 3Cu1 (gold and copper) nanoshells that showed a promising MR contrast effect. For in vitro MR images, the large proton r1 relaxivities brightened T1-weighted images. As for the proton-dephasing effect in T2, Au3Cu1 lightened MR images at the low concentration of 0.125 mg mL-1 (3.84 × 10-7 mM), and then the signal continuously decreased as the concentration increased. For in vivo MR imaging, Au3Cu1 nanocontrast agents enhanced the contrast of blood vessels and suggested their potential use in MR angiography as blood-pool agents. We propose that (1) the cooperativity originating from the form of the nanoparticles and (2) the large surface area coordinated to water from their porous hollow morphology are important for efficient relaxivity. In a cytotoxicity and animal survival assay, Au3Cu1 nanocontrast agents showed a dose-dependent toxic effect: the viability rate of experimental mice reached 83% at a dose of 20 mg kg-1 and as much as 100% at 2 mg kg-1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2139-2146
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Feb 21

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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