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X-ray computed tomography (CT), as one of the most widely used noninvasive imaging modalities, can provide three-dimensional anatomic details with high resolution, which plays a key role in disease diagnosis and treatment assessment. However, although they are the most prevalent and FDA-approved contrast agents, iodinated water-soluble molecules still face some challenges in clinical applications, such as fast clearance, serious adverse effects, nonspecific distribution, and low sensitivity. Because of their high biocompatibility, tunable designability, controllable biodegradation, facile synthesis, and modification capability, the polymers have demonstrated great potential for efficient delivery of iodinated contrast agents (ICAs). Herein, we comprehensively summarized the applications of multifunctional polymeric materials for ICA delivery in terms of increasing circulation time, decreasing nephrotoxicity, and improving the specificity and sensitivity of ICAs for CT imaging. We mainly focused on various iodinated polymers from the aspects of preparation, functionalization, and application in medical diagnosis. Future perspectives for achieving better imaging and clinical translation are also discussed to motivate new technologies and solutions.


Jing Zhang, Weiming Liu, Peng Zhang, Yanqiu Song, Zhanpeng Ye, Han Fu, Shicheng Yang, Qin Qin, Zhigang Guo, Jianhua Zhang. Polymers for Improved Delivery of Iodinated Contrast Agents. ACS biomaterials science & engineering. 2022 Jan 10;8(1):32-53

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PMID: 34851607

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