Aliphatic polyesters for medical imaging and theranostic applications

Aliphatic polyesters for medical imaging and theranostic applications

Eur. J. Pharm. Biopharm. 97, 350–370 (2015)

Nottelet, B., Darcos, V. & Coudane, J



Medical imaging is a cornerstone of modern medicine. In that context the development of innovative imaging systems combining biomaterials and contrast agents (CAs)/imaging probes (IPs) for improved diagnostic and theranostic applications focuses intense research efforts. In particular, the classical aliphatic (co)polyesters poly(lactide) (PLA), poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) and poly(e-caprolactone) (PCL), attract much attention due to their long track record in the medical field. This review aims therefore at providing a state-of-the-art of polyester-based imaging systems. In a first section a rapid description of the various imaging modalities, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), optical imaging, computed tomography (CT), ultrasound (US) and radionuclide imaging (SPECT, PET) will be given.  Then, the two main strategies used to combine the CAs/IPs and the polyesters will be discussed. In more details we will first present the strategies relying on CAs/IPs encapsulation in nanoparticles, micelles, dendrimers or capsules. We will then present chemical modifications of polyesters backbones and/or polyester surfaces to yield macromolecular imaging agents. Finally, opportunities offered by these innovative systems will be illustrated with some recent examples in the fields of cell labeling, diagnostic or theranostic applications and medical devices.