Designed synthesis of uniformly sized iron oxide nanoparticles for efficient magnetic resonance imaging contrast agents

Chem Soc Rev. 2012 Apr 7;41(7):2575-89. doi: 10.1039/c1cs15248c. Epub 2011 Dec 2.


Various magnetic nanoparticles have been extensively investigated as novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents owing to their unique characteristics, including efficient contrast effects, biocompatibility, and versatile surface functionalization capability. Nanoparticles with high relaxivity are very desirable because they would increase the accuracy of MRI. Recent progress in nanotechnology enables fine control of the size, crystal structure, and surface properties of iron oxide nanoparticles. In this tutorial review, we discuss how MRI contrast effects can be improved by controlling the size, composition, doping, assembly, and surface properties of iron-oxide-based nanoparticles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Contrast Media / chemical synthesis*
  • Contrast Media / chemistry
  • Ferric Compounds / chemical synthesis*
  • Ferric Compounds / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Magnetics
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Particle Size
  • Surface Properties


  • Contrast Media
  • Ferric Compounds
  • ferric oxide