Labeling Cells with Magnetic Nanoparticles

Feb 20, 2007

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, 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.

This work is detailed in a paper titled, “Silica- and alkoxysilane-coated ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide particles: a promising tool to label cells for magnetic resonance imaging.” Investigators from Merck and the University of Munich also participated in this study. An abstract of this paper is available through PubMed.

Source: National Cancer Institute

Explore further: Scientists use nanoparticles to shut down mechanism that drives cancer growth

Related Stories

Nanoparticles to kill cancer cells with heat

Jun 17, 2015

Heat may be the key to killing certain types of cancer, and new research from a team including National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) scientists has yielded unexpected results that should help ...

Researchers develop new way to manufacture nanofibers

May 13, 2015

Researchers at the University of Georgia have developed an inexpensive way to manufacture extraordinarily thin polymer strings commonly known as nanofibers. These polymers can be made from natural materials ...

Quantum Criticality in life's proteins (Update)

Apr 15, 2015

(Phys.org)—Stuart Kauffman, from the University of Calgary, and several of his colleagues have recently published a paper on the Arxiv server titled 'Quantum Criticality at the Origins of Life'. The id ...

Recommended for you

A stretchy mesh heater for sore muscles

Jul 03, 2015

If you suffer from chronic muscle pain a doctor will likely recommend for you to apply heat to the injury. But how do you effectively wrap that heat around a joint? Korean Scientists at the Center for Nanoparticle ...

Polymer mold makes perfect silicon nanostructures

Jul 03, 2015

Using molds to shape things is as old as humanity. In the Bronze Age, the copper-tin alloy was melted and cast into weapons in ceramic molds. Today, injection and extrusion molding shape hot liquids into ...

Better memory with faster lasers

Jul 02, 2015

DVDs and Blu-ray disks contain so-called phase-change materials that morph from one atomic state to another after being struck with pulses of laser light, with data "recorded" in those two atomic states. ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.