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TOMOGRAPHY, September 2016, Volume 2, Issue 3: 179-187
DOI: 10.18383/j.tom.2016.00226

Gd and Eu Co-Doped Nanoscale Metal-Organic Framework as A T1-T2 Dual-modal Contrast Agent for Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Geoffrey D. Wang1, Hongmin Chen1,2, Wei Tang1, Daye Lee1, Jin Xie1,2

1Department of Chemistry, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia; 2Bio-Imaging Research Center, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia

Abstract

Recently, a growing interest has been seen in the development of T1T2 dual-mode probes that can simultaneously enhance contrast on T1- and T2-weighted images. A common strategy is to integrate T1 and T2 components in a decoupled manner into a nanoscale particle. This approach, however, often requires a multi-step synthesis and delicate nanoengineering, which may potentially affect the production and wide application of the probes. We herein report the facile synthesis of a 50-nm nanoscale metal– organic framework (NMOF) comprising gadolinium (Gd3+) and europium (Eu3+) as metallic nodes. These nanoparticles can be prepared in large quantities and can be easily coated with a layer of silica. The yielded Eu,Gd-NMOF@SiO2 nanoparticles are less toxic, highly fluorescent, and afford high longitudinal (38 mMM-1s-1) and transversal (222 mM-1s-1) relaxivities on a 7 T magnet. The nanoparticles were conjugated with c(RGDyK), a tumor-targeting peptide sequence, which has a high binding affinity toward integrin αvβ3. Eu,Gd-NMOF@SiO2 nanoparticles, when intratumorally or intravenously injected, induce simultaneous signal enhancement and signal attenuation on T1-and T2-weighted images, respectively. These results suggest great potential of the NMOFs as a novel T1T2 dual-mode contrast agent.

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