Fluorescent magnetic nanoparticles for magnetically enhanced cancer imaging and targeting in living subjects

ACS Nano. 2012 Aug 28;6(8):6862-9. doi: 10.1021/nn301670a. Epub 2012 Aug 13.


Early detection and targeted therapy are two major challenges in the battle against cancer. Novel imaging contrast agents and targeting approaches are greatly needed to improve the sensitivity and specificity of cancer theranostic agents. Here, we implemented a novel approach using a magnetic micromesh and biocompatible fluorescent magnetic nanoparticles (FMN) to magnetically enhance cancer targeting in living subjects. This approach enables magnetic targeting of systemically administered individual FMN, containing a single 8 nm superparamagnetic iron oxide core. Using a human glioblastoma mouse model, we show that nanoparticles can be magnetically retained in both the tumor neovasculature and surrounding tumor tissues. Magnetic accumulation of nanoparticles within the neovasculature was observable by fluorescence intravital microscopy in real time. Finally, we demonstrate that such magnetically enhanced cancer targeting augments the biological functions of molecules linked to the nanoparticle surface.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry*
  • Glioblastoma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Fields
  • Magnetite Nanoparticles*
  • Materials Testing
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods*
  • Nanocapsules / chemistry*
  • Nanocapsules / ultrastructure
  • Particle Size


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Magnetite Nanoparticles
  • Nanocapsules