Water-based suspension of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) and dextran coated AgNPs (dextran-AgNPs) are fabricated and characterised for intravenous administration. A simple method for radiolabelling of nanoparticles with 99mTc was used. Labelling efficiency for AgNPs and dextran-AgNPs was found to be more than 80 and 88%, respectively. In vivo tissue uptake of nanoparticles during dynamic phase, after systematic administration by biodistribution analysis with single-photon emission computed tomography imaging has been evaluated. Biodistribution analysis revealed that 99mTc-AgNPs and 99mTc-dextran-AgNPs are mainly accumulated in liver/spleen region but 99mTc-dextran-AgNPs delayed recognition and uptake by liver. Results indicate that dextran-AgNPs are able to evade reticuloendothelum system with enhanced blood retention time. Accumulation of nanoparticles in liver/spleen region implicates the utilisation of AgNPs for liver cancer treatment. © 2015 The Institution of Engineering and Technology.