Ultrafine nano-iron oxide material
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In MRI, contrast agents are often used to enhance the imaging results, allowing for more accurate diagnosis of the disease. Although gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) are at risk for nephrogenic systemic fibrosis(NSF) in subjects, especially in patients with renal dysfunction, it is clinically important no other contrast agent is available. In recent years, the same as T1 contrast agent, a variety of nano-materials with the same excellent T1 imaging results, such as the early discovery of ultra-fine nano-iron oxide(extremely small-sized iron oxide NPs, ESIONs) and manganese oxide (manganese oxide, MnO). Although the excellent contrast effect is a prerequisite for medical applications, but more importantly, whether these contrast agents have a good security? This is a question that must be clearly answered for a new contrast agent. So far, there are few studies on the parallel comparison of different types of contrast agents from a biosafety perspective.

In the present study, three contrast agents, including ESIONs, MnO nanomaterials and GBCAs from the clinic, were compared in terms of biosafety. The effects of contrast agents on biodistribution and hematological effects were studied by intravenous injection. Histopathological changes, inflammatory response and endoplasmic reticulum stress level. The effect of contrast agent on the biosafety of the organism was analyzed comprehensively. It is found that ESIONs are relatively safe, and there is no kidney accumulation and distribution in the clinical application of tissue imaging, early diagnosis of tumors and angiography and has a good prospect. These results indicate that the novel ultrafine nanometer iron oxide material has excellent clinical application potential and can completely avoid the current clinical use of gadolinium-containing contrast agents lead to the risk of NSF. This study was conducted by the team of Professor Chen Chunying, National Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology of Zhejiang University and Professor Ling Dai-shun of Zhejiang University. The research results are published on ACS Nano [2015, 9 (12), pp 12425-12435].

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