Carboxy-silane coated iron oxide nanoparticles: a convenient platform for cellular and small animal imaging†
This study reports the synthesis of stabilized ultrasmall iron oxide nanoparticles (USPIO) as bimodal probes for magnetic resonance and optical imaging. These nanosystems are based on small iron oxide cores surrounded by a thin polysiloxane shell exhibiting carboxylic acid functions. Thanks to these functions, hybrid particles were obtained by conjugating a fluorophore to the superparamagnetic contrastophore. Such modification allowed us to directly follow these USPIO in cellulo, which provided interesting information about their internalization pathway and cellular distribution upon mitosis. Finally, the efficiency of these systems as probes for bimodal imaging was emphasized by the observation of their in vivo behavior in mice using magnetic resonance and optical imaging.