Adverse effects may occur when nanoparticles are not degraded or excreted from the body and hence, accumulate
in different organs and tissues. Clearance of nanoparticles could be achieved through degradation by the immune system or by renal or biliary clearance. Renal clearance through kidneys can excrete nanoparticles smaller than 8 nm  and . Surface charge also plays an important role in determining renal clearance of nanoparticles. Few reports have suggested that for appropriate identically sized particles, based on surface charge, ease of renal clearance follows the order of positively-charged < neutral < negatively charged  and . Selleck BTK inhibitor This may be attributed to the presence of negatively-charged membrane of glomerular capillary . On the other hand, biliary clearance through liver allows excretion of nanoparticles larger than 200 nm  and . Surface charge also plays role in biliary clearance with increase in surface charges showing increased distribution of nanoparticles in the liver . Furthermore,
a study reported shape dependent distribution of nanoparticles where short rod nanoparticles were predominantly found in liver, while long rods were found in spleen. Short rod nanoparticles were excreted at a faster rate than longer ones . In order to aid understanding of interaction of nanoparticles with immune cells and the biosystem, many different in vivo molecular imaging techniques including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), fluorescence imaging, single photon emission computed tomography Epacadostat mw (SPECT), X-ray computed tomography (CT) and ultrasound imaging could be employed. Owing to its excellent soft tissue contrast and non-invasive nature, MRI imaging is extensively used for obtaining three-dimensional images in vivo. Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION) have been extensively used as contrast agents for morphological imaging  and . PET usually employs an imaging device (PET scanner) and a radiotracer
that is usually intravenously injected into the bloodstream. Due to high sensitivity of this technique, it is used already to study the biodistribution of particles of interest. The only disadvantage of this technique is relatively low spatial resolution as compared to other techniques. PET imaging of 64Cu radiolabelled shell-crosslinked nanoparticles has been demonstrated . Fluorescence imaging facilitates imaging of nanoparticles using fluorescent tags. Dye-doped silica nanoparticles as contrast imaging agents for in vivo fluorescence imaging in small animals have been reported . Nowadays, more attention is being paid to synergize two or more imaging techniques that complement each other and provide an opportunity to overcome shortcomings of individual techniques in terms of resolution or sensitivity.