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Gold Nanoparticles as Improved X-Ray Contrast Agents

 

Description

1.9 nm gold nanoparticles are a new type of contrast agent for X-ray imaging, providing higher contrast and enabling imaging in critical situations, such as chest pain admissions, in patients not suited to iodine-based agents such as obese patients, patients with allergic reactions to iodine, and immunologically compromised patients. Gold nanoparticles overcome many of the limitations of current triiodobenzene derivatives for use as X-ray contrast agents. Gold has higher X-ray absorption than iodine with less bone and tissue interference, thus achieving better contrast with lower X-ray dose. Because nanoparticles clear the blood more slowly than iodine agents, they permit longer imaging times. Gold can be concentrated to 1.5 g Au/mL, 5 x higher than iodine agents. With 3x higher absorption, this enables 10x or 15x higher opacity. In contrast to iodine-based reagents, viscosity is very low, reducing the risk of vascular damage during catheterization.

Benefits and Applications

Benefits to patients:

  • Obese patients: Contrast up to 10 times that of iodine-based reagents; longer residence time means longer imaging time.
  • Patients with renal damage: very low osmolality and viscosity reduces risk of further damage.
  • Iodine-allergic patients: gold nanoparticle reagents are non-allergic.

Intellectual Property Status

US Patent No. 6,818,199 (Media and methods for enhanced medical imaging)

Related Publication

  • Hainfeld J. F., et al: Gold nanoparticles: a new X-ray contrast agent. Br. J. Radiol., 79 (2006), 248-253.

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