Chemical modification of the surface of viruses, both the interior and the exterior, imparts new functionalities, that have potential applications in nanomedicine. In this study, we developed novel virus-based nanomaterials as a contrast agent for computed tomography (CT) imaging in vitro. The gold-coated cowpea mosaic virus (Au-CPMV) particles were generated by the electrostatic adsorption of positively charged electrolyte on the virus capsid with the subsequent incubation and reduction of anionic gold complexes. Au-CPMV particles as a CT contrast agent offer a fast scan time (less than 2 min), low cost, and biocompatibility and allow for high-resolution imaging with ca. 150 Hounsfield units (HU). The Au-CPMV surface was further modified allowing for the incorporation of targeting molecules of specific cell types.
- Biomedical imaging
- Computed tomography (CT)