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Activatable interpolymer complex-superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles as magnetic resonance contrast agents sensitive to oxidative stress

Yoo, Eunsoo, Cheng, Huaitzung A., Nardacci, Lauren E., Beaman, David J., Drinnan, Charles T., Lee, Carmen, Fishbein, Kenneth W., Spencer, Richard G., Fisher, Omar Z., Doiron, Amber L.
Colloids and surfaces 2017 v.158 pp. 578-588
atherosclerosis, biosensors, colloids, diabetes, disease diagnosis, hydrogen bonding, iron oxides, nanoparticles, neoplasms, oxidative stress, pathophysiology, polyethylene glycol, solutes, superoxide anion
Magnetic resonance contrast agents that can be activated in response to specific triggers hold potential as molecular biosensors that may be of great utility in non-invasive disease diagnosis. We developed an activatable agent based on superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIOs) that is sensitive to oxidative stress, a factor in the pathophysiology of numerous diseases. SPIOs were coated with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and complexed with poly(gallol), a synthetic tannin. Hydrogen bonding between PEG and poly(gallol) creates a complexed layer around the SPIO that decreases the interaction of solute water with the SPIO, attenuating its magnetic resonance relaxivity. The complexed interpolymer nanoparticle is in an OFF state (decreased T2 contrast), where the contrast agent has a low T2 relaxivity of 7±2mM⁻¹s⁻¹. In the presence of superoxides, the poly(gallol) is oxidized and the polymers decomplex, allowing solute water to again interact with the SPIO, representing an ON state (increased T2 contrast) with a T2 relaxivity of 70±10mM⁻¹s⁻¹. These contrast agents show promise as effective sensors for diseases characterized in part by oxidative stress such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, and cancer.