Geometrical confinement of gadolinium-based contrast agents in nanoporous particles enhances T1 contrast

Jeyarama S. Ananta, Biana Godin, Richa Sethi, Loick Moriggi, Xuewu Liu, Rita E. Serda, Ramkumar Krishnamurthy, Raja Muthupillai, Robert D. Bolskar, Lothar Helm, Mauro Ferrari, Lon J. Wilson, Paolo Decuzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

367 Scopus citations


Magnetic resonance imaging contrast agents are currently designed by modifying their structural and physiochemical properties to improve relaxivity and to enhance image contrast. Here, we show a general method for increasing relaxivity by confining contrast agents inside the nanoporous structure of silicon particles. Magnevist, gadofullerenes and gadonanotubes were loaded inside the pores of quasi-hemispherical and discoidal particles. For all combinations of nanoconstructs, a boost in longitudinal proton relaxivity r 1 was observed: Magnevist, r1≈14 mM-1 s -1/Gd3+ ion (∼8.15×10+7 mM -1s-1/construct); gadofullerenes, r1 ≈ 200 mM-1s-1/Gd3+ ion (∼7×10+9 mM-1s-1/construct); gadonanotubes, r1 ≈ 150 mM-1s-1/Gd3+ion(∼2×10 -1+9 mM-1s-1/construct). These relaxivity values are about 4 to 50 times larger than those of clinically available gadolinium-based agents (∼4 mM-1s-1/Gd 3+ ion). The enhancement in contrast is attributed to the geometrical confinement of the agents, which influences the paramagnetic behaviour of the Gd3+ ions. Thus, nanoscale confinement offers a new and general strategy for enhancing the contrast of gadolinium-based contrast agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)815-821
Number of pages7
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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