The aim of this chapter is to expound on the theoretical analysis and experimental assessment of NanoParticles (NPs) for imaging, early detection and therapeutic applications. NPs are extremely small particulates with dimensions ranging from few micrometers down to few tens of nanometers. Their characteristics, including size, shape, physical and chemical properties, can be tailored during the fabrication/synthesis process and, on account of these, they would feature certain aspects that may be exploited for applications ranging from drug delivery to the enhancement of the local electric field, and thus the detection of few molecules. In particular, intravascularly injectable NPs (that are sometimes called nanovectors or nanocarriers) are probably the major class of nanotechnological devices of interest for use in cancer or, in general, for the treatment of diseases. On the other hand, aggregates of metallic NPs, either of silver or gold, represent extremely efficient SERS (Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering) substrates. In the following, after a brief description of NPs as a whole, a number of different applications will be discussed.
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