Open menu

Nanotechnology General News

The latest news from academia, regulators
research labs and other things of interest

Posted: February 20, 2007

Labeling cells with magnetic nanoparticles

(Nanowerk News) Investigators at the German Cancer Research Center have developed silica-coated iron oxide nanoparticles that allow for cell tracking in a live animal using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). More sensitive methods for tracking cells in vivo could lead to a better understanding of how cancer spreads throughout the body or how the immune system reacts to tumors.
Fabian Kiessling, Ph.D., led this study, whose initial stages involved preparing iron oxide nanoparticles and coating them with an ultrathin layer of various silicon-containing chemicals. During this part of their study ("Silica- and alkoxysilane-coated ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide particles: a promising tool to label cells for magnetic resonance imaging."), the investigators determined that the nature of this coating had a profound impact on the magnetic properties of the resulting nanoparticle. Only those coated with silicon dioxide retained the optimal magnetic properties needed to generate the strongest MRI signal per particle.
Next, the researchers determined that cells will take up these silicon dioxide-coated iron oxide particles in sufficient quantities to produce an observable MRI signal. One interesting result from these experiments was that cells appear to use a different mechanism to take up these small nanoparticles than they do to take up the larger dextran-coated iron oxide particles now being used in clinical MRI studies.
Source: National Cancer Institute
Subscribe to a free copy of one of our daily
Nanowerk Newsletter Email Digests
with a compilation of all of the day's news.
If you liked this article, please give it a quick review on reddit or StumbleUpon. Thanks!
These articles might interest you as well: