Zdravka Medarova1, Mehmet Yigit1, Chongzhao Ran1, Mohanraja Kumar1, Anna Moore1
1MGH/HST Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA, USA
We have synthesized a nanoparticulate contrast agent that consists of elements detectable by computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and optical imaging (Raman microscopy) without the addition of ligands, such as optical dyes, paramagnetic ions, or iodine. The contrast agent (AuruMN) represents a three-layer construct, consisting of a 3-5 nm core of iron oxide (detectable by MRI), covered with dextran-T10 for a resulting diameter of ~30 nm, and coated with gold (compatible with detection by CT and Raman microscopy) for a final diameter of ~70 nm. The nanoparticle preparation described here can find application in pre-clinical and clinical diagnostics and therapy. It represents a versatile platform based on which one can design a wealth of diagnostic/therapeutic agents through functionalization of the nanoparticles with targeting moieties, specific for chosen cells, tissues, or biological processes as well as with molecular therapeutic agents.