Artificially engineered magnetic nanoparticles for ultra-sensitive molecular imaging
Jae-Hyun Lee1, 4, Yong-Min Huh2, 4, Young-wook Jun1, Jung-wook Seo1, Jung-tak Jang1, Ho-Taek Song2, Sungjun Kim2, Eun-Jin Cho2, Ho-Geun Yoon3, Jin-Suck Suh2 & Jinwoo Cheon1
1 Department of Chemistry and Nanomedical National Core Research Center, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-749, Korea.
2 Department of Radiology and Research Institute of Radiological Science, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-752, Korea.
3 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-752, Korea.
4 These authors contributed equally to this work.
Successful development of ultra-sensitive molecular imaging nanoprobes for the detection of targeted biological objects is a challenging task. Although magnetic nanoprobes have the potential to perform such a role, the results from probes that are currently available have been far from optimal. Here we used artificial engineering approaches to develop innovative magnetic nanoprobes, through a process that involved the systematic evaluation of the magnetic spin, size and type of spinel metal ferrites. These magnetism-engineered iron oxide (MEIO) nanoprobes, when conjugated with antibodies, showed enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sensitivity for the detection of cancer markers compared with probes currently available. Also, we successfully visualized small tumors implanted in a mouse. Such high-performance, nanotechnology-based molecular probes could enhance the ability to visualize other biological events critical to diagnostics and therapeutics.