Amnon Bar-Shir1, Liat Avram1, Smadar Cohen2, Yoram Cohen1
1School of Chemistry, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel; 2Biotechnology Engineering, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel
Ca2+ plays an important role in many biological processes. Currently, the imaging technologies that are used for Ca2+ imaging are mostly based on optical methodologies. Based on the facts that alginates polysaccharides can be cross-linked, selectively, with Ca2+ ions and that SPIO aggregation may change the contrast of T2WI, we suggest the SPIO-alginate nanoparticles as "smart" MRI probes for Ca2+ detection. In this study we describe the synthetic procedure of the water-soluble SPIO-alginate nanoparticles and the MRI detectability of different Ca2+ concentrations in variable aqueous solutions (water, serum and culture cell media) at physiological conditions using this nanoparticles-based probe.