In vivo magnetic resonance and fluorescence dual imaging of tumor sites by using dye-doped silica-coated iron oxide nanoparticles

Haeyun Jang, Chaedong Lee, Gi Eun Nam, Bo Quan, Hyuck Jae Choi, Jung Sun Yoo, Yuanzhe Piao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: The difficulty in delineating tumor is a major obstacle for better outcomes in cancer treatment of patients. The use of single-imaging modality is often limited by inadequate sensitivity and resolution. Here, we present the synthesis and the use of monodisperse iron oxide nanoparticles coated with fluorescent silica nano-shells for fluorescence and magnetic resonance dual imaging of tumor. The as-synthesized core–shell nanoparticles were designed to improve the accuracy of diagnosis via simultaneous tumor imaging with dual imaging modalities by a single injection of contrast agent. The iron oxide nanocrystals (~11 nm) were coated with Rhodamine B isothiocyanate-doped silica shells via reverse microemulsion method. Then, the core–shell nanoparticles (~54 nm) were analyzed to confirm their size distribution by transmission electron microscopy and dynamic laser scattering. Photoluminescence spectroscopy was used to characterize the fluorescent property of the dye-doped silica shell-coated nanoparticles. The cellular compatibility of the as-prepared nanoparticles was confirmed by a trypan blue dye exclusion assay and the potential as a dual-imaging contrast agent was verified by in vivo fluorescence and magnetic resonance imaging. The experimental results show that the uniform-sized core–shell nanoparticles are highly water dispersible and the cellular toxicity of the nanoparticles is negligible. In vivo fluorescence imaging demonstrates the capability of the developed nanoparticles to selectively target tumors by the enhanced permeability and retention effects and ex vivo tissue analysis was corroborated this. Through in vitro phantom test, the core/shell nanoparticles showed a T2 relaxation time comparable to Feridex®with smaller size, indicating that the as-made nanoparticles are suitable for imaging tumor. This new dual-modality-nanoparticle approach has promised for enabling more accurate tumor imaging. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]
Original languageEnglish
Article number41
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Contrast agent
  • Core–shell nanoparticle
  • Fluorescence imaging
  • Fluorescent silica
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Reverse microemulsion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Chemistry
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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