Lipid-Encapsulated Fe3O4Nanoparticles for Multimodal Magnetic Resonance/Fluorescence Imaging

Linlin Zhang, Sheng Tong, Qingbo Zhang, Gang Bao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and fluorescence imaging (FI) are widely used in disease detection, diagnosis, and image-guided therapy. Dual-modality MRI/FI probes can provide a unified imaging platform for examining diseases at different spatial scales and resolutions. Here, we show that a library of MRI/FI nanoprobes can be generated through three orthogonal assembly processes: Encapsulation of magnetic nanoparticles (MNP) in phospholipids and phospholipid-PEG copolymers, physical adsorption of dialkylcarbocyanine dyes, and surface bioconjugation of targeting ligands. The three molecular assembly processes can be independently optimized, facilitating the fine-tuning of individual components of the nanoprobes. In particular, the DiI/DiR/MNP nanoprobes provide stable and high signal contrast in MRI full body scan, in vivo/ex vivo near-infrared fluorescence imaging, and fluorescence microscopy, demonstrating the potential applications of the nanoprobes in coherent tumor diagnostic imaging, intraoperative imaging, and tumor biopsy. Our approach provides a general lipid-based nanofabrication strategy for the rational design of multimodal imaging probes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6785-6797
Number of pages13
JournalACS Applied Nano Materials
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 24 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (Grant No. RR140081 to G.B.).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society.


  • MRI
  • fluorescence imaging
  • multimodality imaging
  • nanoparticle
  • probe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (all)


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