Radiopaque iodinated copolymeric nanoparticles for X-ray imaging applications

Hagit Aviv, Sonke Bartling, Fabian Kieslling, Shlomo Margel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


Recently we described iodinated homopolymeric radiopaque nanoparticles of 28.9 ± 6.3 nm dry diameter synthesized by emulsion polymerization of 2-methacryloyloxyethyl(2,3,5-triiodobenzoate) (MAOETIB). The nanoparticle aqueous dispersion, however, was not stable and tended to agglomerate, particularly at weight concentration of dispersed nanoparticles above ∼0.3%. The agglomeration rate increases as the concentration of nanoparticles in aqueous phase rises and prevents the potential in vivo use as contrast agent for medical X-ray imaging. Here we describe efforts to overcome this limitation by synthesis of iodinated copolymeric nanoparticles of 25.5 ± 4.2 nm dry diameter, by emulsion copolymerization of the monomer, MAOETIB, with a low concentration of glycidyl methacrylate (GMA). The surface of resulting copolymeric nanoparticles is far more hydrophilic than that of polyMAOETIB (PMAOETIB) nanoparticles. Therefore, P(MAOETIB-GMA) nanoparticles are significantly more stable against agglomeration in aqueous continuous phase. After intravenous injection of P(MAOETIB-GMA) nanoparticles in rats and mice (including those with a liver cancer model) CT-imaging revealed a significant enhanced visibility of the blood pool for 30 min after injection. Later, lymph nodes, liver and spleen strongly enhanced due to nanoparticle uptake by the reticuloendothelial system. This favorably enabled the differentiation of cancerous from healthy liver tissue and suggests our particles for tumor imaging in liver and lymph nodes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5610-5616
Number of pages7
Issue number29
StatePublished - Oct 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
These studies were partially supported by the German Israel Foundation (GIF) Grant and by a Minerva Grant (Microscale & Nanoscale Particles).


  • Computed tomography
  • Contrast agent
  • Copolymeric iodinated nanoparticles
  • Emulsion polymerization
  • Iodine-containing radiopaque nanoparticles
  • Radiopacity


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