Nanomaterial Probes for Nuclear Imaging

Vanessa Jing Xin Phua, Chang Tong Yang, Bin Xia, Sean Xuexian Yan, Jiang Liu, Swee Eng Aw, Tao He, David Chee Eng Ng

Research output: Journal PublicationReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Nuclear imaging is a powerful non-invasive imaging technique that is rapidly developing in medical theranostics. Nuclear imaging requires radiolabeling isotopes for non-invasive imaging through the radioactive decay emission of the radionuclide. Nuclear imaging probes, commonly known as radiotracers, are radioisotope-labeled small molecules. Nanomaterials have shown potential as nuclear imaging probes for theranostic applications. By modifying the surface of nanomaterials, multifunctional radio-labeled nanomaterials can be obtained for in vivo biodistribution and targeting in initial animal imaging studies. Various surface modification strategies have been developed, and targeting moieties have been attached to the nanomaterials to render biocompatibility and enable specific targeting. Through integration of complementary imaging probes to a single nanoparticulate, multimodal molecular imaging can be performed as images with high sensitivity, resolution, and specificity. In this review, nanomaterial nuclear imaging probes including inorganic nanomaterials such as quantum dots (QDs), organic nanomaterials such as liposomes, and exosomes are summarized. These new developments in nanomaterials are expected to introduce a paradigm shift in nuclear imaging, thereby creating new opportunities for theranostic medical imaging tools.

Original languageEnglish
Article number582
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Molecular imaging probe
  • Nanomaterials
  • Nanoparticles
  • Nuclear imaging
  • Theranostics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Nanomaterial Probes for Nuclear Imaging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this