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General Protocol for the Synthesis of Functionalized Magnetic Nanoparticles for Magnetic Resonance Imaging from Protected Metal–Organic Precursors

General Protocol for the Synthesis of Functionalized Magnetic
Nanoparticles for Magnetic Resonance Imaging from Protected
Metal–Organic Precursors


Abstract


The development of magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) with functional groups has been intensively pursued in recent years. Herein, a simple, versatile, and cost-effective strategy to synthesize water-soluble and amino-functionalized MNPs, based on the thermal decomposition of phthalimide- protected metal–organic precursors followed by deprotection, was developed. The resulting amino-functionalized Fe3O4, MnFe2O4, and Mn3O4 MNPs with particle sizes of about 14.3, 7.5, and 6.6 nm, respectively, had narrow size distributions and good dispersibility in water. These MNPs also exhibited high magnetism and relaxivities of r2= 107.25 mM for Fe3O4, r2=245.75 mM for MnFe2O4, and r1=2.74 mMfor Mn3O4. The amino-functionalized MNPs were further conjugated with a fluorescent dye (rhodamine B) and a targeting ligand (folic acid: FA) and used as multifunctional probes. Magnetic resonance imaging and flow-cytometric studies showed that these probes could specifically target cancer cells overexpressing FA receptors. This new protocol opens a new way for the synthesis and design of water-soluble and amino-functionalized MNPs by an easy and versatile route.

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