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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Time course study of novel contrast agents MVivo AuNH₂ and Fenestra HDVC and their ability to monitor liver tumor growth Tan, Ming Jia


Micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) imaging has been used to study anatomical features in experimental subjects, including small animals. To improve the visibility of organs and soft tissues, contrast agents (CAs) were developed. This created opportunities for studying disease progression through a noninvasive imaging technique. A time course study was performed to determine if the novel MVivo AuNH₂, will be taken up by healthy hepatocytes and behave like a liver targeting CA. Two versions of MVivo AuNH₂ with a terminal amine polyethylene glycol (PEG) but one has a negative zeta potential and the other has a positive zeta potential. The experimental results show no difference in greyscale values against the blood pool CA, MVivo Au, particularly in the liver. This indicated that the modifications were not enough to introduce a liver-targeting property to MVivo AuNH₂. A second time course study was performed on a novel CA, Fenestra HDVC, a concentrated version of the blood pool CA, Fenestra VC. Through experimental work, it was confirmed that Fenestra HDVC did have twice the amount of iodine, the iodine concentration was at 100 mg/mL, and that it also had dual-imaging properties. So, upon injection it will behave like a blood pool CA for a few hours then behave like a liver targeting CA until total elimination. The dual-imaging property of Fenestra HDVC was used in a tumor study to determine its effectiveness in monitoring liver tumor growth through in vivo micro-CT scans. The number of tumors, tumor volumes and total tumor burden were calculated from the in vivo images and compared with the calculations made from the ex vivo images of the excised tumorous liver. The results provide strong evidence that Fenestra HDVC can enhance the liver to show growth of multiple tumor nodules. The tumor volume measurements were also similar to those obtained from the ex vivo images showing that in vivo micro-CT scans using Fenestra HDVC can be used to detect and study liver cancer. This experimental work provides a foundation for future research in liver cancer studies that use Fenestra HDVC as the CA for in vivo micro-CT imaging in small animals.

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