Send to

Choose Destination
Bioconjug Chem. 2008 Dec;19(12):2440-5. doi: 10.1021/bc800330k.

Protease-specific nanosensors for magnetic resonance imaging.

Author information

Department of Radiology, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Charitéplatz 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany.


Imaging of enzyme activity is a central goal of molecular imaging. With the introduction of fluorescent smart probes, optical imaging has become the modality of choice for experimental in vivo detection of enzyme activity. Here, we present a novel high-relaxivity nanosensor that is suitable for in vivo imaging of protease activity by magnetic resonance imaging. Upon specific protease cleavage, the nanoparticles rapidly switch from a stable low-relaxivity stealth state to become adhesive, aggregating high-relaxivity particles. To demonstrate the principle, we chose a cleavage motif of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9), an enzyme important in inflammation, atherosclerosis, tumor progression, and many other diseases with alterations of the extracellular matrix. On the basis of clinically tested very small iron oxide particles (VSOP), the MMP-9-activatable protease-specific iron oxide particles (PSOP) have a hydrodynamic diameter of only 25 nm. PSOP are rapidly activated, resulting in aggregation and increased T2*-relaxivity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Chemical Society
Loading ...
Support Center