Porous silicon nanoparticles have recently garnered attention as potentially-promising biomedical platforms for drug delivery and medical diagnostics. Here, we demonstrate porous silicon nanoparticles as contrast agents for 29Si magnetic resonance imaging. Size-controlled porous silicon nanoparticles were synthesized by magnesiothermic reduction of silica nanoparticles and were surface activated for further functionalization. Particles were hyperpolarized via dynamic nuclear polarization to enhance their 29Si MR signals; the particles demonstrated long 29Si spin-lattice relaxation (T1) times (∼25 mins), which suggests potential applicability for medical imaging. Furthermore, 29Si hyperpolarization levels were sufficient to allow 29Si MRI in phantoms. These results underscore the potential of porous silicon nanoparticles that, when combined with hyperpolarized magnetic resonance imaging, can be a powerful theragnostic deep tissue imaging platform to interrogate various biomolecular processes in vivo.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry