Multimodal Molecular Imaging Strategies using Functionalized Nano Probes

Author(s): Karunanithi Rajamanickam

Cancer prognosis was mainly done by imaging and biopsy with histological analysis of solid tumours. Identifying tumour margins and staging of the tumour are critical for choosing appropriate treatments so that the risk of reoccurrence could be minimized. Imaging modalities have their strengths and limitations. Hence multimodality imaging that takes advantage of strengths from two or more imaging techniques may serve improved diagnostic and therapeutic monitoring abilities. Radiolabelled small molecules have been used as contrast agents to detect tumour for prognosticating therapeutic interventions. However, these probes lack tissue specificity and stability for optimal usage. Quantum dots (QDs) are fluorescent probes for optical imaging, which are capable of tunable optical properties, ability to target tumours when their surface-functionalized with high stability. Recently, a wide application of biocompatible surface-functionalized QDs is evidenced as multimodal imaging probes. However, their pathway to clinical translation is not yet fully explored. In this review, different biocompatible functionalized nanoprobes, their in-vivo application in animal model followed by their future possible clinical applications, recent developments of optical fluorescence imaging probes and its integration with other imaging modalities such as X-ray computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and ultrasonography (US) are discussed.

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