PET/NIRF/MRI triple functional iron oxide nanoparticles

Jin Xie, Kai Chen, Jing Huang, Seulki Lee, Jinhua Wang, Jinhao Gao, Xingguo Li, Xiaoyuan Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

387 Scopus citations


Engineered nanoparticles with theranostic functions have attracted a lot of attention for their potential role in the dawning era of personalized medicine. Iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs), with their advantages of being non-toxic, biodegradable and inexpensive, are candidate platforms for the buildup of theranostic nanostructures; however, progress in using them has been limited largely due to inefficient drug loading and delivery. In the current study, we utilized dopamine to modify the surface of IONPs, yielding nanoconjugates that can be easily encapsulated into human serum albumin (HSA) matrices (clinically utilized drug carriers). This nanosystem is well-suited for dual encapsulation of IONPs and drug molecules, because the encapsulation is achieved in a way that is similar to common drug loading. To assess the biophysical characteristics of this novel nanosystem, the HSA coated IONPs (HSA-IONPs) were dually labeled with 64Cu-DOTA and Cy5.5, and tested in a subcutaneous U87MG xenograft mouse model. In vivo positron emission tomography (PET)/near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF)/magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tri-modality imaging, and ex vivo analyses and histological examinations were carefully conducted to investigate the in vivo behavior of the nanostructures. With the compact HSA coating, the HSA-IONPs manifested a prolonged circulation half-life; more impressively, they showed massive accumulation in lesions, high extravasation rate, and low uptake of the particles by macrophages at the tumor area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3016-3022
Number of pages7
Issue number11
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect
  • Iron oxide nanoparticle (IONP)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Multiple imaging
  • Near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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