Long-term in vivo clearance of gadolinium-based AGuIX nanoparticles and their biocompatibility after systemic injection

ACS Nano. 2015 Mar 24;9(3):2477-88. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.5b00552. Epub 2015 Feb 26.


We previously reported the synthesis of gadolinium-based nanoparticles (NPs) denoted AGuIX (activation and guiding of irradiation by X-ray) NPs and demonstrated their potential as an MRI contrast agent and their efficacy as radiosensitizing particles during X-ray cancer treatment. Here we focus on the elimination kinetics of AGuIX NPs from the subcellular to whole-organ scale using original and complementary methods such as laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), intravital two-photon microscopy, inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). This combination of techniques allows the exact mechanism of AGuIX NPs elimination to be elucidated, including their retention in proximal tubules and their excretion as degraded or native NPs. Finally, we demonstrated that systemic AGuIX NP administration induced moderate and transient effects on renal function. These results provide useful and promising preclinical information concerning the safety of theranostic AGuIX NPs.

Keywords: gadolinium; laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy; nanoparticle; renal function; theranostic; toxicity; two-photon microscopy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry*
  • Biocompatible Materials / metabolism
  • Biocompatible Materials / pharmacokinetics*
  • Biocompatible Materials / toxicity
  • Biological Transport
  • Contrast Media / chemistry*
  • Contrast Media / metabolism
  • Contrast Media / pharmacokinetics*
  • Contrast Media / toxicity
  • Gadolinium / chemistry*
  • Gadolinium / metabolism
  • Gadolinium / pharmacokinetics*
  • Gadolinium / toxicity
  • Humans
  • Injections
  • Kidney Cortex / drug effects
  • Kidney Cortex / metabolism
  • Kinetics
  • Metal Nanoparticles*
  • Mice
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Safety
  • X-Rays


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium