Antibody-conjugated hydrophilic magnetic nanocrystals for use as smart nanoprobes were developed for ultrasensitive detection of breast cancer via magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. MnFe2O4 nanocrystals (MNCs) for use as MR imaging contrast agents were synthesized by thermal decomposition to take advantage of their MR signal enhancement effect. The MNC surfaces were then modified with amphiphilic tri-block copolymers (dicarboxy poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(propylene glycol)-block-poly(ethylene glycol)), not only allowing the MNCs to transfer from the organic to the aqueous phase, but also increasing the colloidal stability of the MNCs by masking poly(ethylene glycol). The physicochemical properties of the synthesized hydrophilic magnetic nanocrystals (HMNCs) were fully investigated. Trastuzumab (TZ), a monoclonal antibody against human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER2/neu), was further conjugated on the surface of HMNCs to specifically target HER2/neu over-expressed breast cancer cells. MR imaging analysis of target cells treated with TZ-conjugated HMNCs (TZ-HMNCs) clearly demonstrated their potential as high-performance nanoprobes for selective imaging.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering