Worm-Like Superparamagnetic Nanoparticle Clusters for Enhanced Adhesion and Magnetic Resonance Relaxivity
Nanosized bioprobes that can highlight diseased tissue can be powerful diagnostic tools. However, a major unmet need is a tool with adequate adhesive properties and contrast-to-dose ratio. To this end, this study demonstrates that targeted superparamagnetic nanoprobes engineered to present a worm-like shape and hydrophilic packaging enhance both adhesion efficiency to target substrates and magnetic resonance (MR) sensitivity. These nanoprobes were prepared by the controlled self-assembly of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) into worm-like superstructures using glycogen-like amphiphilic hyperbranched polyglycerols functionalized with peptides capable of binding to defective vasculature. The resulting worm-like SPION clusters presented binding affinity to the target substrate 10-fold higher than that of spherical ones and T 2 molar MR relaxivity 3.5-fold higher than that of conventional, single SPIONs. The design principles discovered for these nanoprobes should be applicable to a range of other diseases where improved diagnostics are needed. Graphic Abstract ACS Electronic Supporting Info
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