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Smart magnetic resonance imaging-based theranostics for cancer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Beatriz Brito, Thomas Price, Juan Gallo, Manuel Bañobre-López, Graeme Stasiuk

Original languageEnglish
Accepted/In press30 Mar 2021


King's Authors


Smart theranostics are dynamic platforms that integrate multiple functions, including at least imaging, therapy, and responsiveness, in a single agent. This review showcases a variety of responsive theranostic agents developed specifically for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), due to the privileged position this non-invasive, non-ionising imaging modality continues to hold within the clinical imaging field. Different MRI smart theranostic designs have been devised in the search for more efficient cancer therapy, and improved diagnostic efficiency, through the increase of the local concentration of therapeutic effectors and MRI signal intensity in pathological tissues. This review explores novel small-molecule and nanosized MRI theranostic agents for cancer that exhibit responsiveness to endogenous (change in pH, redox environment, or enzymes) or exogenous (temperature, ultrasound, or light) stimuli. The challenges and obstacles in the design and in vivo application of responsive theranostics are also discussed to guide future research in this interdisciplinary field towards more controllable, efficient, and diagnostically relevant smart theranostics agents.

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