Iron oxide nanoparticles for targeted imaging of liver tumors with ultralow hepatotoxicity†
Even though iron oxide (Fe3O4) nanoparticles are promising materials for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents, their biocompatibility and targeting efficacy still need to be improved. Herein, we modified glycyrrhetinic acid (GA) groups on Fe3O4 nanoparticles (Fe3O4@cGlu-GA) for liver tumor-targeted imaging. To evaluate the biocompatibility of these nanoparticles, we studied their cytotoxicity, hemolysis, and hepatotoxicity. We measured the uptake of Fe3O4@cGlu-GA nanoparticles in normal and liver tumor cells, then we investigated the specificity of Fe3O4@cGlu-GA nanoparticles in mouse models bearing subcutaneous and orthotopic liver tumors. With good biocompatibility and targeting efficacy both in vitro and in vivo, the Fe3O4@cGlu-GA nanoparticles are promising MRI contrast agents with ultralow hepatotoxicity and show great improvement on existing Fe3O4-based nanoparticles.
- This article is part of the themed collection: International Year of the Periodic Table: Applications for magnetic materials