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Studying the effect of particle size and coating type on the blood kinetics of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles

Authors Roohi F, Lohrke J, Ide A, Schuetz G, Dassler K

Received 19 April 2012

Accepted for publication 31 May 2012

Published 10 August 2012 Volume 2012:7 Pages 4447—4458

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S33120

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5


Farnoosh Roohi, Jessica Lohrke, Andreas Ide, Gunnar Schütz, Katrin Dassler

MR and CT Contrast Media Research, Bayer Pharma AG, Berlin, Germany

Purpose: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), one of the most powerful imaging techniques available, usually requires the use of an on-demand designed contrast agent to fully exploit its potential. The blood kinetics of the contrast agent represent an important factor that needs to be considered depending on the objective of the medical examination. For particulate contrast agents, such as superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIOs), the key parameters are particle size and characteristics of the coating material. In this study we analyzed the effect of these two properties independently and systematically on the magnetic behavior and blood half-life of SPIOs.
Methods: Eleven different SPIOs were synthesized for this study. In the first set (a), seven carboxydextran (CDX)-coated SPIOs of different sizes (19–86 nm) were obtained by fractionating a broadly size-distributed CDX–SPIO. The second set (b) contained three SPIOs of identical size (50 nm) that were stabilized with different coating materials, polyacrylic acid (PAA), polyethylene glycol, and starch. Furthermore, small PAA–SPIOs (20 nm) were synthesized to gain a global insight into the effects of particle size vs coating characteristics. Saturation magnetization and proton relaxivity were determined to represent the magnetic and imaging properties. The blood half-life was analyzed in rats using MRI, time-domain nuclear magnetic resonance, and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry.
Results: By changing the particle size without modifying any other parameters, the relaxivity r2 increased with increasing mean particle diameter. However, the blood half-life was shorter for larger particles. The effect of the coating material on magnetic properties was less pronounced, but it had a strong influence on blood kinetics depending on the ionic character of the coating material.
Conclusion: In this report we systematically demonstrated that both particle size and coating material influence blood kinetics and magnetic properties of SPIO independently. These data provide key information for the selection of a contrast agent for a defined application and are additionally valuable for other nano areas, such as hyperthermia, drug delivery, and nanotoxicology.

Keywords: SPIO, relaxivity, blood half-life, MRI

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