Biofunctionalized gadolinium-containing prussian blue nanoparticles as multimodal molecular imaging agents.

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Bioconjugate Chemistry


Volume 25, Issue 1



Inclusive Pages



Contrast Media--chemistry; Ferrocyanides--chemistry; Gadolinium--chemistry; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Nanoparticles--chemistry


Molecular imaging agents enable the visualization of phenomena with cellular and subcellular level resolutions and therefore have enormous potential in improving disease diagnosis and therapy assessment. In this article, we describe the synthesis, characterization, and demonstration of core-shell, biofunctionalized, gadolinium-containing Prussian blue nanoparticles as multimodal molecular imaging agents. Our multimodal nanoparticles combine the advantages of MRI and fluorescence. The core of our nanoparticles consists of a Prussian blue lattice with gadolinium ions located within the lattice interstices that confer high relaxivity to the nanoparticles providing MRI contrast. The relaxivities of our nanoparticles are nearly nine times those observed for the clinically used Magnevist. The nanoparticle MRI core is biofunctionalized with a layer of fluorescently labeled avidin that enables fluorescence imaging. Biotinylated antibodies are attached to the surface avidin and confer molecular specificity to the nanoparticles by targeting cell-specific biomarkers. We demonstrate our nanoparticles as multimodal molecular imaging agents in an in vitro model consisting of a mixture of eosinophilic cells and squamous epithelial cells. Our nanoparticles specifically detect eosinophilic cells and not squamous epithelial cells, via both fluorescence imaging and MRI in vitro. These results suggest the potential of our biofunctionalized Prussian blue nanoparticles as multimodal molecular imaging agents in vivo.

Peer Reviewed