Frontiers in Nanomedicine

Volume: 1

Frontiers in Nanomedicine offers an up-to-date understanding of nanomaterials to readers having clinical or biomolecular research interests. Scientists, both aspiring and experienced, will find, in ...
[view complete introduction]

US $

*(Excluding Mailing and Handling)

Nanoparticles for Diagnostics and Imaging

Pp. 3-46 (44)

Miguel Larguinho, Sara Figueiredo, Ana Cordeiro, Fábio Ferreira Carlos, Milton Cordeiro, Pedro Pedrosa and Pedro V. Baptista


Nanoparticles possess unique optical and physic-chemical properties that may potentiate applications in biomedicine, in particular in diagnostics, therapy and imaging. Advances on biomolecular diagnostics strategies have greatly focused on single molecule detection and characterization of DNA, RNA or proteins through improved nanoparticle-based platforms. Nanoparticles improve analytical capability when compared to traditional techniques with high resolution and medium-high throughput. Also, particular interest has been directed at SNP detection, gene expression profiles and biomarker characterization through colorimetric, spectrometric or electrochemical strategies.

Molecular imaging has also benefited from the introduction of nanoparticles in standard techniques towards non-invasive imaging procedures that can be used to highlight regions of interest, allowing the characterization of biological processes at the cellular and/or molecular level. Several imaging modalities are associated with low sensitivity, an issue that can be tackled by the use of probes, e.g. contrast agents for X-ray and magnetic resonance imaging, radiolabelled molecules for nuclear medicine. Furthermore, nanoparticles can be used as vehicles that deliver specifically these contrast agents, leading to overcome the limitations of conventional modalities.

This chapter will discuss the use of nanoparticles in biomolecular recognition and imaging applications, focusing those already being translated into clinical settings. Current knowledge will be addressed as well as its evolution towards the future of nanoparticle-based biomedical applications.


Cancer diagnostics, contrast enhancement, cross-linking assay, DNA detection, gold nanoparticles, gold nanoprobes, liposomes, magnetic nanoparticles, metal enhanced fluorescence, metal nanoparticles, molecular resonance imaging, nanomedicine, nanoparticles, optical imaging, photoacoustic imaging, Positron Emission Tomography, quantum dots, RNA detection, silver nanoparticles, theranostics.


1CIGMH/DCV, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia/Universidade NOVA de Lisboa. Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal.