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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 819324, 12 pages
Review Article

Advance of Molecular Imaging Technology and Targeted Imaging Agent in Imaging and Therapy

1Department of Ultrasound Medicine, Laboratory of Ultrasound Molecular Imaging, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou 510150, China
2Department of Imaging and Interventional Radiology, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong
3Department of Nuclear Medicine, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou 510150, China

Received 27 October 2013; Revised 29 December 2013; Accepted 30 December 2013; Published 13 February 2014

Academic Editor: Weibo Cai

Copyright © 2014 Zhi-Yi Chen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Molecular imaging is an emerging field that integrates advanced imaging technology with cellular and molecular biology. It can realize noninvasive and real time visualization, measurement of physiological or pathological process in the living organism at the cellular and molecular level, providing an effective method of information acquiring for diagnosis, therapy, and drug development and evaluating treatment of efficacy. Molecular imaging requires high resolution and high sensitive instruments and specific imaging agents that link the imaging signal with molecular event. Recently, the application of new emerging chemical technology and nanotechnology has stimulated the development of imaging agents. Nanoparticles modified with small molecule, peptide, antibody, and aptamer have been extensively applied for preclinical studies. Therapeutic drug or gene is incorporated into nanoparticles to construct multifunctional imaging agents which allow for theranostic applications. In this review, we will discuss the characteristics of molecular imaging, the novel imaging agent including targeted imaging agent and multifunctional imaging agent, as well as cite some examples of their application in molecular imaging and therapy.