In vivo clearance of 19F MRI imaging nanocarriers is strongly influenced by nanoparticle ultrastructure

Alexander H.J. Staal, Katrin Becker, Oya Tagit, N. Koen van Riessen, Olga Koshkina, Andor Veltien, Pascal Bouvain, Kimberley R.G. Cortenbach, Tom Scheenen, Ulrich Flögel, Sebastian Temme, Mangala Srinivas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


Perfluorocarbons hold great promise both as imaging agents, particularly for 19F MRI, and in therapy, such as oxygen delivery. 19F MRI is unique in its ability to unambiguously track and quantify a tracer while maintaining anatomic context, and without the use of ionizing radiation. This is particularly well-suited for inflammation imaging and quantitative cell tracking. However, perfluorocarbons, which are best suited for imaging – like perfluoro-15-crown-5 ether (PFCE) - tend to have extremely long biological retention. Here, we showed that the use of a multi-core PLGA nanoparticle entrapping PFCE allows for a 15-fold reduction of half-life in vivo compared to what is reported in literature. This unexpected rapid decrease in 19F signal was observed in liver, spleen and within the infarcted region after myocardial infarction and was confirmed by whole body NMR spectroscopy. We demonstrate that the fast clearance is due to disassembly of the ~200 nm nanoparticle into ~30 nm domains that remain soluble and are cleared quickly. We show here that the nanoparticle ultrastructure has a direct impact on in vivo clearance of its cargo i.e. allowing fast release of PFCE, and therefore also bringing the possibility of multifunctional nanoparticle-based imaging to translational imaging, therapy and diagnostics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120307
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • F MRI
  • Cell tracking
  • Clearance
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Nanoparticle
  • Perfluorocarbon
  • PFCE


Dive into the research topics of 'In vivo clearance of 19F MRI imaging nanocarriers is strongly influenced by nanoparticle ultrastructure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this