Hyaluronic acid-modified Fe3O4@Au core/shell nanostars for multimodal imaging and photothermal therapy of tumors

Biomaterials. 2015 Jan:38:10-21. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2014.10.065. Epub 2014 Nov 9.


Development of multifunctional theranostic nanoplatforms for diagnosis and therapy of cancer still remains a great challenge. In this work, we report the use of hyaluronic acid-modified Fe3O4@Au core/shell nanostars (Fe3O4@Au-HA NSs) for tri-mode magnetic resonance (MR), computed tomography (CT), and thermal imaging and photothermal therapy of tumors. In our approach, hydrothermally synthesized Fe3O4@Ag nanoparticles (NPs) were used as seeds to form Fe3O4@Au NSs in the growth solution. Further sequential modification of polyethyleneimine (PEI) and HA affords the NSs with excellent colloidal stability, good biocompatibility, and targeting specificity to CD44 receptor-overexpressing cancer cells. With the Fe3O4 core NPs and the star-shaped Au shell, the formed Fe3O4@Au-HA NSs are able to be used as a nanoprobe for efficient MR and CT imaging of cancer cells in vitro and the xenografted tumor model in vivo. Likewise, the NIR absorption property enables the developed Fe3O4@Au-HA NSs to be used as a nanoprobe for thermal imaging of tumors in vivo and photothermal ablation of cancer cells in vitro and xenografted tumor model in vivo. This study demonstrates a unique multifunctional theranostic nanoplatform for multi-mode imaging and photothermal therapy of tumors, which may find applications in theranostics of different types of cancer.

Keywords: CT imaging; Fe(3)O(4)@Au nanostars; Hyaluronic acid; MR imaging; Photothermal therapy; Tumors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Contrast Media / chemical synthesis
  • Gold / therapeutic use*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / chemistry
  • Hyperthermia, Induced / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Magnetite Nanoparticles / therapeutic use*
  • Magnetite Nanoparticles / ultrastructure
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Multimodal Imaging / methods*
  • Nanocapsules / chemistry
  • Nanocapsules / ultrastructure
  • Nanocomposites / therapeutic use
  • Nanocomposites / ultrastructure
  • Nanopores / ultrastructure
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / therapy*
  • Phototherapy / methods
  • Porosity
  • Thermography / methods
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Contrast Media
  • Magnetite Nanoparticles
  • Nanocapsules
  • Gold
  • Hyaluronic Acid