Highly fluorescent and superparamagnetic nanosystem for biomedical applications.

PMID 28643695


This work reports on highly fluorescent and superparamagnetic bimodal nanoparticles (BNPs) obtained by a simple and efficient method as probes for fluorescence analysis and/or contrast agents for MRI. These promising BNPs with small dimensions (ca. 17 nm) consist of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) covalently bound with CdTe quantum dots (ca. 3 nm). The chemical structure of the magnetic part of BNPs is predominantly magnetite, with minor goethite and maghemite contributions, as shown by Mössbauer spectroscopy, which is compatible with the x-ray diffraction data. Their size evaluation by different techniques showed that the SPION derivatization process, in order to produce the BNPs, does not lead to a large size increase. The BNPs saturation magnetization, when corrected for the organic content of the sample, is ca. 68 emu g(-1), which is only slightly reduced relative to the bare nanoparticles. This indicates that the SPION surface functionalization does not change considerably the magnetic properties. The BNP aqueous suspensions presented stability, high fluorescence, high relaxivity ratio (r 2/r 1 equal to 25) and labeled efficiently HeLa cells as can be seen by fluorescence analysis. These BNP properties point to their applications as fluorescent probes as well as negative T 2-weighted MRI contrast agents. Moreover, their potential magnetic response could also be used for fast bioseparation applications.