Development and Application of Multifunctional Lanthanide-Doped Nanoparticles in Medical Imaging
Medical imaging has become one of the most important tools of modern medicine soon after it was developed. Presently, several imaging modalities are available to clinicians for the detection of skeletal fractures and functional abnormalities of organs and tissues; and also an excellent tool during surgical procedures. Unfortunately, each imaging technique possesses its own strengths and inherent limitations which can be mitigated via the use of multiple imaging modalities and imaging probes. Through the use of multiple imaging modalities, it is possible to gather complementary information for a more reliable diagnosis. Each imaging technique requires its own imaging probes, providing selectivity and improved contrast. However, conventional contrast agents are incapable of providing what the new generation of multifunctional nanomaterials offer. In addition to improved selectivity and contrast, multifunctional materials possess therapeutic capabilities such as photo-thermal therapy and controlled drug delivery. Lanthanide-based nanomaterials are viable candidates for multimodal imaging agents due to possessing multifunctional capabilities, optical and chemical stability, and an intense tunable emission.
This doctoral dissertation will delve into the development of lanthanide-based nanoparticles by proposing a novel multifunctional contrast agent for Near Infrared Fluorescence Imaging and Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Furthermore, the study of surface modification effects on upconversion emission and nanoparticle-cell interactions was performed. Results presented will confirm the potential application of multifunctional lanthanide-based nanomaterials as multimodal imaging probes.