Multifunctional NaYF4:Yb, Er@mSiO2@Fe3O4-PEG nanoparticles for UCL/MR bioimaging and magnetically targeted drug delivery†
A low toxic multifunctional nanoplatform, integrating both mutimodal diagnosis methods and antitumor therapy, is highly desirable to assure its antitumor efficiency. In this work, we show a convenient and adjustable synthesis of multifunctional nanoparticles NaYF4:Yb, Er@mSiO2@Fe3O4-PEG (MFNPs) based on different sizes of up-conversion nanoparticles (UCNPs). With strong up-conversion fluorescence offered by UCNPs, superparamagnetism properties attributed to Fe3O4 nanoparticles and porous structure coming from the mesoporous SiO2 shell, the as-obtained MFNPs can be utilized not only as a contrast agent for dual modal up-conversion luminescence (UCL)/magnetic resonance (MR) bio-imaging, but can also achieve an effective magnetically targeted antitumor chemotherapy both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, the UCL intensity of UCNPs and the magnetic properties of Fe3O4 in the MFNPs were carefully balanced. Silica coating and further PEG modifying can improve the hydrophilicity and biocompatibility of the as-synthesized MFNPs, which was confirmed by the in vitro/in vivo biocompatibility and in vivo long-time bio-distributions tests. Those results revealed that the UCNPs based magnetically targeted drug carrier system we synthesized has great promise in the future for multimodal bio-imaging and targeted cancer therapy.