The use of polymeric nanoparticles (NPs) as therapeutics has been steadily increasing over past decades. In vivo imaging of NPs is necessary to advance the therapeutic performance. 19F Magnetic Resonance Imaging (19F MRI) offers multiple advantages for in vivo imaging. However, design of a probe for both biodistribution and degradation has not been realized yet. We developed polymeric NPs loaded with two fluorocarbons as promising imaging tools to monitor NP biodistribution and degradation by 19F MRI. These 200 nm NPs consist of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) loaded with perfluoro-15-crown-5 ether (PFCE) and PERFECTA. PERFECTA/PFCE-PLGA NPs have a fractal sphere structure, in which both fluorocarbons are distributed in the polymeric matrix of the fractal building blocks, which differs from PFCE-PLGA NPs and is unique for fluorocarbon-loaded colloids. This structure leads to changes of magnetic resonance properties of both fluorocarbons after hydrolysis of NPs. PERFECTA/PFCE-PLGA NPs are colloidally stable in serum and biocompatible. Both fluorocarbons show a single resonance in 19F MRI that can be imaged separately using different excitation pulses. In the future, these findings may be used for biodistribution and degradation studies of NPs by 19F MRI in vivo using “two color” labeling leading to improvement of drug delivery agents.
- F MRI
- Fractal nanoparticles