Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) attracts great attention in cellular and molecular imaging due to its non-invasive and multidimensional tomographic capabilities. Development of new contrast agents is necessary to enhance the MRI signal in tissues of interest. Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) are used as contrast agents for signal enhancement as they have revealed extraordinary magnetic properties at the nanometre size and their toxicity level is very low compared to other commercial contrast agents. In this study, we developed a new method to functionalize the surface of SPIONs. Peptide amphiphile molecules are used to coat SPIONs non-covalently to provide water solubility and to enhance biocompatibility. Superparamagnetic properties of the peptide-SPION complexes and their ability as contrast agents are demonstrated. In vitro cell culture experiments reveal that the peptide-SPION complexes are biocompatible and are localized around the cells due to their peptide coating.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Chemistry