Block-copolymer-stabilized iodinated emulsions for use as CT contrast agents

A. de Vries, E.M.G. Custers, J. Lub, S. van den Bosch, K. Nicolay, H. Grüll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The objective of this study was to develop radiopaque iodinated emulsions for use as CT blood pool contrast agents. Three hydrophobic iodinated oils were synthesized based on the 2,3,5-triiodobenzoate moiety and formulated into emulsions using either phospholipids or amphiphilic polymers, i.e. Pluronic F68 and poly(butadiene)-b-poly(ethylene glycol) (PBD-PEO), as emulsifiers. The size, stability and cell viability was investigated for all stabilized emulsions. Three emulsions stabilized with either lipids or PBD-PEO were subsequently tested in vivo as a CT blood pool contrast agent in mice. While the lipid-stabilized emulsions turned out unstable in vivo, polymer-stabilized emulsions performed well in vivo. In blood, a contrast enhancement of 220 Hounsfield Units (HU) was measured directly after intravenous administration of 520 mg I/kg. The blood circulation half-life of a PBD-PEO stabilized emulsion was approximately 3 h and no noticeable in vivo toxicity was observed. These results show the potential of above emulsions for use as blood pool agents in contrast enhanced CT imaging.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6537-6544
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010


  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Contrast agent
  • Emulsion
  • Nanoparticles
  • Iodine
  • X-ray imaging


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