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Adv. Mater. 2017, 29, 1603997

X-Ray computed tomography (CT) owing to its high resolution, deep tissue penetration, low cost, and wide availability has become one of the clinically most used noninvasive diagnostic tools. To better visualize soft tissues and pathological regions, CT contrast agents based on iodinated small molecules (iohexol, iodixanol) are typically applied in clinics. However, it should be noted that current iodinated small molecule contrast agents encounter several challenges such as swift blood clearance, high osmolality and viscosity, potential renal failure risk, and possible iodine hypersensitivity. To this end, various nanoparticulate contrast agents in particular inorganic nanoparticles based on gold, bismuth, tungsten, rare earth, and iodinecontaining organic nanoparticles including nanoemulsions, liposomes, nanoparticulate, nanogels, and dendritic polymers have recently been designed and explored for in vivo CT imaging. These nanosized contrast agents showed significant improvements over iodinated small molecule contrast agents including prolonged blood-pool residence time, showing potential for targeted imaging application and cell tracking. However, in spite of their superior X-ray attenuation coefficient, clinical translation of inorganic CT contrast agents is challenged by their potential toxicity and high cost concerns.

Y. Zou, Y.H. Wei, G.L. Wang, F.H. Meng*, M.Y. Gao, G. Storm, and Z.Y. Zhong*, Nano-Polymersomes with an Ultrahigh Iodine Content for High-Performance X-Ray Computed Tomography Imaging In Vivo, Adv. Mater. 2017, 29, 1603997.