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NANOCARRIERS IN BIOLOGICAL IMAGING

Nanocarriers have been mostly explored for target-specific drug delivery as systems/ vehicles. Primarily, such vehicles have been exploited as transporters for anticancer drugs. Examples of nanocarriers include, but are not limited to, liposomes, nanomicelles, nanoparticles, iron oxide, and gold and carbon-based materials. Such delivery systems can be designed for controlled drug release [11]. In the following sections we focused our discussion on inorganic and lipid-based carrier systems in imaging and diagnosis.

Inorganic Nanomaterials

Magnetic Nanoparticles

Magnetic nanoparticles, paramagnetic contrast agents (CAs), and superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIOs) have been employed for various soft-tissue imaging. SPIOs may be size tailored and functionalized for targeted imaging. Magnetic nanoparticles are considered as an excellent diagnostic tracers for magnetic resonance and disease management [12]. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been utilized for imaging soft tissues, especially brain tumors. For individualized therapy, MRI is preferred for guidance and monitoring delivery of therapeutic agents, including antibodies, peptides, aptamers, genes, or therapeutic agents to target tissues [13]. Studies demonstrate that iron oxide nanoparticles induce cytotoxicity and genotoxicity by elevating oxidative stress and DNA damage in human breast cancer cell [14].

 
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