ISSN 1866-8836
Клеточная терапия и трансплантация

BS-04. Development of a new bioimaging system based on barium carbonate particles for the diagnosis of malignant neoplasms

Timofey E. Karpov1,2, Aya Darwish1, Alexander S. Timin1,2, Sergey A. Shipilovskikh1,2, Alisa S. Postovalova1,2, Mikhail V. Zyuzin2

1 Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, St. Petersburg, Russia
2 School of Physics and Engineering, ITMO University, St. Petersburg, Russia

Contact: Timofey E. Karpov, phone: +7 (921) 658-73-67, e-mail:

doi 10.18620/ctt-1866-8836-2023-12-3-1-176


Development of new imaging systems for preclinical and clinical diagnostics of malignant neoplasms (MND) is very actual at present. Widespread introduction of new contrast agents into clinical practice is hindered by unknown biological reactivity of new components used in the synthesis process. The use of nano- and microparticles of barium carbonate (BaCO3) has great prospects in the field of MND visualization due to multimodal properties of the particles. Barium in the developed carriers may be used for X-ray computed tomography, and the introduction of a diagnostic isotope (99mTc) into the BaCO3 structure allows in vivo imaging by SPECT. In addition, the Cy5 fluorophore labeling of engineered BaCO3 nano- and microcarriers provides optical emission properties for ex vivo fluorescence bioimaging.

Materials and methods

The co-precipitation method of anhydrous barium chloride (BaCl2x2H2O) and sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) in the presence of ethylene glycol and polyacrylic acid was used to synthesize BaCO3 particles.


X-ray computed tomography and SPECT showed that radiolabeled BaCO3 nano- and microcarriers had different biodistribution profiles and accumulation efficiencies in tumors after intratumoral and intravenous administration. In particular, when administered intratumorally, all types of carriers used remained mostly in tumors (>97%). During intratumoral administration, BaCO3 microcarriers localized predominantly in lung tissue, and no signals were detected in the tumor. Importantly, BaCO3 nanocarriers accumulated in the tumor due to the enhanced penetration and retention (EPR) effect. These results were further confirmed by ex vivo fluorescence imaging, direct radiometry and histological analysis. The developed BaCO3-based nano- and microcarriers showed negligible in vivo toxicity towards major organs such as heart, lung, liver, kidney and spleen.


This study offers a simple strategy for the design and fabrication of BaCO3-based nano- and microcarriers for dual SPECT/CT imaging.

This work was supported by the Russian Science Foundation (project No. 23-25-00295).


Contrast agents, radiolabeling, tumor imaging, multimodal imaging.

Supplement 12-3

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doi 10.18620/ctt-1866-8836-2023-12-3-1-176

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