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A T₁/T₂ dual functional iron oxide MRI contrast agent with super stability and low hypersensitivity benefited by ultrahigh carboxyl group density

Miao, Chongchong, Hu, Fenglin, Rui, Yuanpeng, Duan, Yourong, Gu, Hongchen
Journal of materials chemistry B 2019 v.7 no.12 pp. 2081-2091
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, anaphylaxis, biocompatibility, cytotoxicity, freeze drying, ions, iron, magnetic resonance imaging, moieties, molecular weight, nanoparticles, risk, spray drying, storage time, sucrose, temperature, texture, thermogravimetry, transmission electron microscopy
Clinically acceptable safety and efficacy are the most important issues for the design and synthesis of iron oxide MRI contrast agents. In order to meet the practical requirements, a kind of low molecular weight PAA-coated Fe₃O₄ nanoparticle (CS015) with super colloidal stability and low hypersensitivity benefitting from an ultrahigh carboxyl group density was developed in this study. The composition and physicochemical properties of the particles were characterized by TEM, XRD, FTIR and TGA. The ultrahigh density of COOH on the particles (33 COOH per nm²) was verified while a core size of 5.1 nm and a dynamic diameter of 41 nm with a narrow distribution were also achieved. The particles still showed excellent dispersity and stability even after a spray-drying or freeze-drying process, exposure to high temperature sterilized conditions and long-term storage. The nanoparticles could quickly capture iron ions in bulk solution which was confirmed by ITC results, and the bioactive iron concentration of CS015 was greatly decreased (0.54 ± 0.05 mg L⁻¹) compared to that of commercially available ferumoxytol, iron sucrose and VSOP. Free iron ion release was 1120 times lower than the toxic concentration of iron. An excellent biocompatibility of CS015 with no obvious cytotoxicity and low risk of hypersensitivity has been manifested by cytotoxicity experiments and a passive cutaneous anaphylaxis test. The T₁ and T₂-weighted MRI contrast effects both in vitro and in vivo have also been verified which made CS015 a potential dual MRI contrast agent. Furthermore, theoretically calculated conformation was speculated and all the advantages mentioned above were benefited from the three dimensional brush-like texture of CS015. Therefore, these merits make the CS015 nanoplatform highly suitable in diagnostic applications as a MRI contrast agent.