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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2014, Article ID 523646, 13 pages
Review Article

In Vivo Imaging of Nitric Oxide by Magnetic Resonance Imaging Techniques

1Center for Nanomagnetics and Biotechnology, Tallahassee, FL 32310, USA
2Department of Ophthalmology, Hallym University Dongtan Sacred Heart Hospital, Hwaseong 445-907, Republic of Korea
3Department of Biological Engineering, Inha University, 100 Inharo, Nam-gu, Incheon 402-751, Republic of Korea

Received 23 June 2014; Accepted 28 June 2014; Published 17 July 2014

Academic Editor: Ki-Joon Jeon

Copyright © 2014 Rakesh Sharma 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.


Nitric oxide (NO) biosensors are novel tools for real-time bioimaging of tissue oxygen changes and physiological monitoring of tissue vasculature. Nitric oxide behavior further enhances its role in mapping signal transduction at the molecular level. Spectrometric electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and fluorometric imaging are well known techniques with the potential for in vivo bioimaging of NO. In tissues, NO is a specific target of nitrosyl compounds for chemical reaction, which provides a unique opportunity for application of newly identified NO biosensors. However, the accuracy and sensitivity of NO biosensors still need to be improved. Another potential magnetic resonance technique based on short term NO effects on proton relaxation enhancement is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and some NO biosensors may be used as potent imaging contrast agents for measurement of tumor size by MRI combined with fluorescent imaging. The present review provides supporting information regarding the possible use of nitrosyl compounds as NO biosensors in MRI and fluorescent bioimaging showing their measurement limitations and quantitative accuracy. These new approaches open a perspective regarding bioimaging of NO and the in vivo elucidation of NO effects by magnetic resonance techniques.