In vivo small animal micro-CT using nanoparticle contrast agents.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Repository Usage Stats


Citation Stats


Computed tomography (CT) is one of the most valuable modalities for in vivo imaging because it is fast, high-resolution, cost-effective, and non-invasive. Moreover, CT is heavily used not only in the clinic (for both diagnostics and treatment planning) but also in preclinical research as micro-CT. Although CT is inherently effective for lung and bone imaging, soft tissue imaging requires the use of contrast agents. For small animal micro-CT, nanoparticle contrast agents are used in order to avoid rapid renal clearance. A variety of nanoparticles have been used for micro-CT imaging, but the majority of research has focused on the use of iodine-containing nanoparticles and gold nanoparticles. Both nanoparticle types can act as highly effective blood pool contrast agents or can be targeted using a wide variety of targeting mechanisms. CT imaging can be further enhanced by adding spectral capabilities to separate multiple co-injected nanoparticles in vivo. Spectral CT, using both energy-integrating and energy-resolving detectors, has been used with multiple contrast agents to enable functional and molecular imaging. This review focuses on new developments for in vivo small animal micro-CT using novel nanoparticle probes applied in preclinical research.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Ashton, Jeffrey R, Jennifer L West and Cristian T Badea (2015). In vivo small animal micro-CT using nanoparticle contrast agents. Front Pharmacol, 6. p. 256. 10.3389/fphar.2015.00256 Retrieved from

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



Jeffrey Ashton

Clinical Associate in the Department of Radiology

Cristian Tudorel Badea

Professor in Radiology

  • Our lab's research focus lies primarily in developing novel quantitative imaging systems, reconstruction algorithms and analysis methods.  My major expertise is in preclinical CT.
  • Currently, we are particularly interested in developing novel strategies for spectral CT imaging using nanoparticle-based contrast agents for theranostics (i.e. therapy and diagnostics).
  • We are also engaged in developing new approaches for multidimensional CT image reconstruction suitable to address difficult undersampling cases in cardiac and spectral CT (dual energy and photon counting) using compressed sensing and/or deep learning.

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.