Molecular imaging has the potential to transform the field of diagnostic imaging through enabling far more detailed investigation and characterisation of disease processes than is currently possible. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is capable of three-dimensional non-invasive imaging of opaque tissues at near cellular resolution. Among the imaging techniques available today, MRI has, perhaps, the greatest potential to exploit the possibilities that molecular imaging presents. Nanoparticles are the focus of intense research, due to a wide variety of potential applications in the biomedical, optical, and electronic fields. In this article we examine the progress made in the development of nanoparticles as targeted contrast agents for molecular magnetic resonance imaging. In particular, we will examine the potential of antibody-targeted liposomes (immunoliposomes) as vehicles for delivering MRI contrast agents to cellular biomarkers, thus enabling visualisation of structures and processes at the molecular level. We will address some of the challenges that must be faced by researchers in this field before the progress made in the laboratory can be translated into improved clinical diagnostics and therapeutics.
Dublin City University ->