Indexed on: 11 Jun '20Published on: 11 Jun '20Published in: Nanomaterials (Basel, Switzerland)
Nowadays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is one of the key, noninvasive modalities to detect and stage cancer which benefits from contrast agents (CA) to differentiate healthy from tumor tissue. An innovative class of MRI CAs is represented by Gd-loaded gold nanoparticles. The size, shape and chemical functionalization of Gd-loaded gold nanoparticles appear to affect the observed relaxation enhancement of water protons in their suspensions. The herein reported results shed more light on the determinants of the relaxation enhancement brought by Gd-loaded concave cube gold nanoparticles (CCGNPs). It has been found that, in the case of nanoparticles endowed with concave surfaces, the relaxivity is remarkably higher compared to the corresponding spherical (i.e., convex) gold nanoparticles (SPhGNPs). The main determinant for the observed relaxation enhancement is represented by the occurrence of a large contribution from second sphere water molecules which can be exploited in the design of high-efficiency MRI CA.