Chemical and in vitro characterizations of a promising bimodal AGuIX probe able to target apoptotic cells for applications in MRI and optical imaging

Contrast Media Mol Imaging. 2016 Sep;11(5):381-395. doi: 10.1002/cmmi.1702. Epub 2016 Jul 19.


Different studies on AGuIX nanoparticles have been achieved in the biomedical domain, showing that they allow us to combine multimodal and theranostic properties in oncology. The targeting of apoptotic cells presents a wide range of biomedical applications, including the monitoring of antitumoral therapy and the diagnosis of diseases related to this process, such as atherosclerosis, ischemia, chronic inflammation or autoimmune disorders. AGuIX nanoparticles functionalized with a peptide that recognizes apoptotic cells and with organic fluorophores were characterized by several physicochemical and biological methods such as HPLC, relaxometry and photon correlation spectroscopy, which attested to their potential as bimodal tracers detected by optical imaging and MRI. An increase of relaxivity and stability of AGuIX nanoparticles is also observed after their vectorization. The biological efficiency of this novel bimodal probe to target apoptotic cells was evaluated by fluorescence microscopy, relaxometry, MRI and flow cytometry on a lymphoblastic human T-cell line. In vitro cell apoptosis was chemically induced by incubation with camptothecin. Our in vitro experiments showed a significant specificity of vectorized AGuIX nanoparticles for camptothecin-treated cells that suggests their potential efficiency as probes to target apoptosis. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Keywords: AGuIX; MRI; apoptosis; fluorescence; imaging; nanoparticles; paramagnetic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis* / drug effects
  • Camptothecin / pharmacology
  • Cell Line
  • Gadolinium*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Molecular Probes / chemistry*
  • Multimodal Imaging / methods*
  • Optical Imaging / methods
  • Peptides / chemistry


  • Molecular Probes
  • Peptides
  • Gadolinium
  • Camptothecin