Biosynthesized Gold Nanoclusters and Iron Complexes as Scaffolds for Multimodal Cancer Bioimaging

Small. 2016 Dec;12(45):6255-6265. doi: 10.1002/smll.201602526. Epub 2016 Sep 27.


Cancer treatment has a far greater chance of success if the neoplasm is diagnosed before the onset of metastasis to vital organs. Hence, cancer early diagnosis is extremely important and remains a major challenge in modern therapeutics. In this contribution, facile and new method for rapid multimodal tumor bioimaging is reported by using biosynthesized iron complexes and gold nanoclusters via simple introduction of AuCl4- and Fe2+ ions. The observations demonstrate that the biosynthesized Au nanoclusters may act as fluorescent and computed tomography probes for cancer bioimaging while the iron complexes behave as effective contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging. The biosynthesized iron complexes and gold nanoclusters are found biocompatible in vitro (MTT (3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay) and in vivo for all the vital organs of circulatory and excretory system. These observations raise the possibility that the biosynthesized probes may find applications in future clinical diagnosis for deep seated early neoplasms by multimodal imaging.

Keywords: biosynthesis; gold nanoclusters; iron complexes; multimodal bioimaging.

MeSH terms

  • Contrast Media / chemistry
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry
  • Gold / chemistry*
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Multimodal Imaging / methods*


  • Contrast Media
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Gold