Toward carbon nanotube-based imaging agents for the clinic
Zaibaq, Nicholas G.
Wilson, Lon J.
Among the many applications for carbon nanotubes (CNTs), their use in medicine has drawn special attention due to their potential for a variety of therapeutic and diagnostic applications. As progress toward clinical applications continues, monitoring CNTs in vivowill be essential to evaluate their biodistribution, potential toxicity, therapeutic activity, and any physiological changes that the material may induce in specific tissues. There are many different imaging modalities to visualize and track CNTs in vivo, yet only a few are full-body penetrating, a central characteristic that widens their clinical utility. In order to visualize CNTs, chemical modification is often required for the material to be used as a platform to carry imaging agents compatible with one or more of the clinical imaging techniques. Here, we focus on the most recent work involving the use of CNTs as imaging agents for the non-invasive, full-body penetrating clinical modalities of MRI, PET, SPECT, and X-ray CT. The synthesis and modification of the CNT materials are discussed, as well as relevant preclinical studies.