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Biodegradable Polydisulfide Dendrimer Nanoclusters as MRI Contrast Agents

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journal contribution
posted on 20.02.2016, 05:18 by Ching-Hui Huang, Kido Nwe, Ajlan Al Zaki, Martin W. Brechbiel, Andrew Tsourkas
Gadolinium-conjugated dendrimer nanoclusters (DNCs) are a promising platform for the early detection of disease; however, their clinical utility is potentially limited due to safety concerns related to nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF). In this paper, biodegradable DNCs were prepared with polydisulfide linkages between the individual dendrimers to facilitate excretion. Further, DNCs were labeled with premetalated Gd chelates to eliminate the risk of free Gd becoming entrapped in dendrimer cavities. The biodegradable polydisulfide DNCs possessed a circulation half-life of >1.6 h in mice and produced significant contrast enhancement in the abdominal aorta and kidneys for as long as 4 h. The DNCs were reduced in circulation as a result of thiol–disulfide exchange, and the degradation products were rapidly excreted via renal filtration. These agents demonstrated effective and prolonged in vivo contrast enhancement and yet minimized Gd tissue retention. Biodegradable polydisulfide DNCs represent a promising biodegradable macromolecular MRI contrast agent for magnetic resonance angiography and can potentially be further developed into target-specific MRI contrast agents.