Noninvasive Imaging Techniques of Metal Nanoparticles and Their Future Diagnostic Applications

  • Sourav Das
  • Rajesh Kotcherlakota
  • Chitta Ranjan PatraEmail author


Bio-imaging offers visualization of complex living systems for clinical diagnosis and detection of the diseases. The critical challenges that are associated with conventional contrasting agents or imaging probes are toxic effects and shorter circulation time in the body. Therefore, bio-imaging requires advancements in imaging probes and contrast agents for better understanding of the biological architectures to diagnose the disease. Recent advancements of nanoscience and nanotechnology have changed the paradigm of bio-imaging by providing the better resolution, high contrast images to diagnose the diseases at the molecular level. Also, nanotechnology offers the theranostic approach to diagnose and treat the disease using various nanomaterials that are functionalized with imaging agents and therapeutic molecules. In fact, various imaging techniques are now employing nanomaterials as sole source of imaging signal rather using as contrast objective. The present review article mainly focuses on the application of various nanomaterials in imaging modalities including MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), Raman based, luminescence upconversion imaging, CT (computed tomography), fluorescence imaging, etc. Additionally, we also review the recent advancements that occurred with the help of nanomaterials in each of these imaging techniques. Further, present clinical status of nanomaterials as imaging agents will also be discussed. We conclude with the various challenges associated with nanomaterials for clinical translation as imaging agents. Finally, we focus the insights of nanoparticle-based bio-imaging for future diagnostic applications.


Bio-imaging Nanomaterials Contrast agents Imaging probes Diagnosis 



Accelerated blood clearance


Silver nanoparticles


Gold nanoparticles


Coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering


Cerium dioxide


Central nervous system


Computed tomography


Extremely small iron oxide nanoparticles


Food and drug administration


Fluorescein isothiocyanate


Fluorescence resonance energy transfer


Gadolinium based-nanoparticles




Immunoglobulin G


Image guided therapy


Lewis lung carcinoma


Maximum intensity projections




Magnetic resonance-photoacoustic-Raman


Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound


Magnetic resonance imaging


Magnetic relaxation switch


Multispectral optoacoustic tomography


NIH-3T3- Mouse embryonic fibroblast cell line


Optical coherence tomography


Polyacrylic acid


Photoacoustic imaging


Polyethylene glycol


Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)


Prostate-specific membrane antigen


Quantum dots


Squamous cell carcinoma


Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy


Silica nanoparticles


Human breast cancer cell line


Sentinel lymph node


Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles


Spiropyran-terminated poly(ε-caprolactone)


Tetra spiropyran titanate


Titanium oxide


Upconversion luminescence


Upconversion nanoparticles


Zinc oxide



The Authors are thankful to the Director, CSIR-IICT for his support and encouragement and for his keen interest in this work. IICT communication number IICT/Pubs./2019/113 dated March 25th 2019 for this manuscript is duly acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sourav Das
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rajesh Kotcherlakota
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chitta Ranjan Patra
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Applied BiologyCSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical TechnologyHyderabadIndia
  2. 2.Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR)GhaziabadIndia

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