Janus Iron Oxides @ Semiconducting Polymer Nanoparticle Tracer for Cell Tracking by Magnetic Particle Imaging

Nano Lett. 2018 Jan 10;18(1):182-189. doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b03829. Epub 2017 Dec 15.


Iron oxides nanoparticles tailored for magnetic particle imaging (MPI) have been synthesized, and their MPI signal intensity is three-times that of commercial MPI contrast (Ferucarbotran, also called Vivotrax) and seven-times that of MRI contrast (Feraheme) at the same Fe concentration. MPI tailored iron oxide nanoparticles were encapsulated with semiconducting polymers to produce Janus nanoparticles that possessed optical and magnetic properties for MPI and fluorescence imaging. Janus particles were applied to cancer cell labeling and in vivo tracking, and as few as 250 cells were imaged by MPI after implantation, corresponding to an amount of 7.8 ng of Fe. Comparison with MRI and fluorescence imaging further demonstrated the advantages of our Janus particles for MPI-super sensitivity, unlimited tissue penetration, and linear quantitativity.

Keywords: cell tracking; iron oxides; magnetic particle imaging; semiconducting polymer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Tracking
  • Contrast Media / chemistry*
  • Ferric Compounds / chemistry*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Magnetics / methods
  • Mice
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Nanoparticles / ultrastructure
  • Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Optical Imaging / methods
  • Polymers / chemistry*
  • Semiconductors*
  • Whole Body Imaging / methods


  • Contrast Media
  • Ferric Compounds
  • Polymers
  • ferric oxide