Iron Oxide Colloidal Nanoclusters as Theranostic Vehicles and Their Interactions at the Cellular Level

  • Kostopoulou A
  • Brintakis K
  • Fragogeorgi E
  • et al.
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Abstract

© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Advances in surfactant-assisted chemical approaches have led the way for the exploitation of nanoscale inorganic particles in medical diagnosis and treatment. In this field, magnetically-driven multimodal nanotools that perform both detection and therapy, well-designed in size, shape and composition, are highly advantageous. Such a theranostic material—which entails the controlled assembly of smaller (maghemite) nanocrystals in a secondary motif that is highly dispersible in aqueous media—is discussed here. These surface functionalized, pomegranate-like ferrimagnetic nanoclusters (40–85 nm) are made of nanocrystal subunits that show a remarkable magnetic resonance imaging contrast efficiency, which is better than that of the superparamagnetic contrast agent Endorem©. Going beyond this attribute and with their demonstrated low cytotoxicity in hand, we examine the critical interaction of such nanoprobes with cells at different physiological environments. The time-dependent in vivo scintigraphic imaging of mice experimental models, combined with a biodistribution study, revealed the accumulation of nanoclusters in the spleen and liver. Moreover, the in vitro proliferation of spleen cells and cytokine production witnessed a size-selective regulation of immune system cells, inferring that smaller clusters induce mainly inflammatory activities, while larger ones induce anti-inflammatory actions. The preliminary findings corroborate that the modular chemistry of magnetic iron oxide nanoclusters stimulates unexplored pathways that could be driven to alter their function in favor of healthcare.

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Kostopoulou, A., Brintakis, K., Fragogeorgi, E., Anthousi, A., Manna, L., Begin-Colin, S., … Lappas, A. (2018). Iron Oxide Colloidal Nanoclusters as Theranostic Vehicles and Their Interactions at the Cellular Level. Nanomaterials, 8(5), 315. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8050315

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