The extensive adaptability of dendrimer-based contrast agents is ideal for the molecular imaging of organs and other target-specific locations. The ability of literally atom-by-atom modification on cores, interiors, and surface groups, permits the rational manipulation of dendrimer-based agents in order to optimize their physical characteristics, biodistribution, receptor-mediated targeting, and controlled release of the payload. Such modifications enable agents to localize preferentially to areas or organs of interest for facilitating target-specific imaging as well as assume excretion pathways that do not interfere with desired applications. Recent innovations in dendrimer research have increased agent directibility and new synthetic chemistry approaches have increased efficiency of production as well as led to the creation of novel dendrimer-based contrast agents. In addition, by taking advantage of the numerous attachment sites available on the surface of a single dendrimer molecule, new synthetic chemistry techniques have led to the development of multimodality magnetic resonance, radionuclide, and fluorescence imaging agents for molecular imaging. Herein we discuss advances in dendrimer-based contrast agents for molecular imaging focusing mainly on the chemical design as applied to optical, magnetic resonance, computer tomography, radionuclide, and multi-modality imaging.
Keywords: Dendrimer, contrast agent, molecular imaging, nanomedicine, magnetic resonance imaging, optical imaging, radionuclide imaging, multiple modalities
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