3D map of theranostic nanoparticles distribution in mice brain and liver by means of X-ray Phase Contrast Tomography

E. Longo, A. Bravin, F. Brun, I. Bukreeva, A. Cedola, M. Fratini, X. Le Guevel, L. Massimi, L. Sancey, O. Tillement, P. Zeitoun, O. De La Rochefoucauld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The word "theranostic" derives from the fusion of two terms: therapeutic and diagnostic. It is a promising research field that aims to develop innovative therapies with high target specificity by exploiting the therapeutic and diagnostic properties, in particular for metal-based nanoparticles (NPs) developed to erase cancer. In the framework of a combined research program on low dose X-ray imaging and theranostic nanoparticles (NPs), high resolution Phase-Contrast Tomography images of mice organs injected with gadolinium and gold-NPs were acquired at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF). Both compounds are good X-ray contrast agents due to their high attenuation coefficient with respect to biological tissues, especially immediately above K-edge energy. X-ray tomography is a powerful non-invasive technique to image the 3D vasculature network in order to detect abnormalities. Phase contrast methods provide more detailed anatomical information with higher discrimination among soft tissues. We present the images of mice liver and brain injected with gold and gadolinium NPs, respectively. We discuss different image processing methods used aiming at enhancing the accuracy on localizing nanoparticles.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberC01049
JournalJournal of Instrumentation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Computerized Tomography (CT) and Computed Radiography (CR)
  • Medical-image reconstruction methods and algorithms, computer-aided diagnosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Mathematical Physics


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