Targeted fluorescent magnetic nanoparticles for imaging of human breast cancer

Jing Sun, Zhao Gang Teng, Ying Tian, Jian Dong Wang, Yang Guo, Dong Hyun Kim, Andrew C. Larson, Guang Ming Lu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Magnetic nanoclusters coated with ruthenium (II) complexes doped with silica (fluorescent magnetic nanoparticles or FMNPs) could be used for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and optical imaging (OI) of human breast cancer. To achieve the targeting imaging of tumors, the peptide cyclic-arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) was chosen as the probe for specific targeting integrin αvβ3over expressed in human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells. The cytotoxicity tests in vitro showed little toxicity of the synthesized RGD-FMNPs with the size of 150 nm. The in vivo study also showed no obvious acute toxicity after the injection of RGD-FMNPs in mice bearing MDA-MB-231 tumors. After 24 hours of co-culture with MDA-MB-231 cells, the cellular uptake of RGD-FMNPs significantly increased compared to that of FMNPs. T2-weighted (T2W) MRI demonstrated a negative enhancement in mice injected with RGD-FMNPs approximately three times of that injected with FMNPs (12.867 ± 0.451 ms vs. 4.833 ± 0.513 ms, P < 0.05). The Prussian blue staining results confirmed more RGD-FMNPs accumulated around the tumors than FMNPs. These results demonstrated the potential application of RGD-FMNPs as a targeting molecular probe for detection of breast cancer using MRI and OI. The synthesized RGD-FMNPs could be potentially used for biomedical imaging in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4747-4758
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 30 2014


  • Breast cancer
  • Fluorescent magnetic nanoparticles (FMNPs)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Optical imaging (OI)
  • RGD
  • Ruthenium complexes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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