Nanomedicine strategies for molecular targets with MRI and optical imaging

Future Med Chem. 2010 Mar;2(3):471-90. doi: 10.4155/fmc.10.5.


The science of 'theranostics' plays a crucial role in personalized medicine, which represents the future of patient management. Over the last decade an increasing research effort has focused on the development of nanoparticle-based molecular-imaging and drug-delivery approaches, emerging as a multidisciplinary field that shows promise in understanding the components, processes, dynamics and therapies of a disease at a molecular level. The potential of nanometer-sized agents for early detection, diagnosis and personalized treatment of diseases is extraordinary. They have found applications in almost all clinically relevant biomedical imaging modality. In this review, a number of these approaches will be presented with a particular emphasis on MRI and optical imaging-based techniques. We have discussed both established molecular-imaging approaches and recently developed innovative strategies, highlighting the seminal studies and a number of successful examples of theranostic nanomedicine, especially in the areas of cardiovascular and cancer therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Diagnostic Imaging / trends
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods
  • Ferric Compounds / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Magnetics
  • Molecular Structure
  • Nanomedicine / methods*
  • Nanomedicine / trends
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Nanoparticles / therapeutic use
  • Precision Medicine
  • Quantum Dots


  • Ferric Compounds
  • ferric oxide