Nanoparticles speckled by ready-to-conjugate lanthanide complexes for multimodal imaging.

PMID 26205500


Multimodal and multifunctional contrast agents receive enormous attention in the biomedical imaging field. Such contrast agents are routinely prepared by the incorporation of organic molecules and inorganic nanoparticles (NPs) into host materials such as gold NPs, silica NPs, polymer NPs, and liposomes. Despite their non-cytotoxic nature, the large size of these NPs limits the in vivo distribution and clearance and inflames complex pharmacokinetics, which hinder the regulatory approval for clinical applications. Herein, we report a unique method that combines magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and fluorescence imaging modalities together in nanoscale entities by the simple, direct and stable conjugation of novel biotinylated coordination complexes of gadolinium(III) to CdSe/ZnS quantum dots (QD) and terbium(III) to super paramagnetic iron oxide NPs (SPION) but without any host material. Subsequently, we evaluate the potentials of such lanthanide-speckled fluorescent-magnetic NPs for bioimaging at single-molecule, cell and in vivo levels. The simple preparation and small size make such fluorescent-magnetic NPs promising contrast agents for biomedical imaging.