Mangala Srinivas, theme Nanomedicine, showed in Advanced Functional Materials that nano‐particles (radius 100 nm), are suitable for long‐term in vivo ultrasound in combination with 19F MRI and fluorescence.
Ultrasound is the most commonly used clinical imaging modality. However, in applications requiring cell‐labeling, the large size and short active lifetime of ultrasound contrast agents limit their longitudinal use. Here, 100 nm radius, clinically applicable, polymeric nanoparticles containing a liquid perfluorocarbon, which enhance ultrasound contrast during repeated ultrasound imaging over the course of at least 48 h, are described. The perfluorocarbon enables monitoring the nanoparticles with quantitative 19F magnetic resonance imaging, making these particles effective multimodal imaging agents. Unlike typical core–shell perfluorocarbon‐based ultrasound contrast agents, these nanoparticles have an atypical fractal internal structure. The nonvaporizing highly hydrophobic perfluorocarbon forms multiple cores within the polymeric matrix and is, surprisingly, hydrated with water, as determined from small‐angle neutron scattering and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Finally, the nanoparticles are used to image therapeutic dendritic cells with ultrasound in vivo, as well as with 19F MRI and fluorescence imaging, demonstrating their potential for long‐term in vivo multimodal imaging.