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Nat Commun. 2010 Jul 27;1:41. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1042.

Multifunctional nanoparticles as coupled contrast agents.

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Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington, William H Foege Building N530M, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.


Engineering compact imaging probes with highly integrated modalities is a key focus in bionanotechnology and will have profound impact on molecular diagnostics, imaging and therapeutics. However, combining multiple components on a nanometre scale to create new imaging modalities unavailable from individual components has proven to be challenging. In this paper, we demonstrate iron oxide and gold-coupled core-shell nanoparticles (NPs) with well-defined structural characteristics (for example, size, shell thickness and core-shell separation) and physical properties (for example, electronic, magnetic, optical, thermal and acoustic). The resulting multifunctional nanoprobes not only offer contrast for electron microscopy, magnetic resonance imaging and scattering-based imaging but, more importantly, enable a new imaging mode, magnetomotive photoacoustic imaging, with remarkable contrast enhancement compared with photoacoustic images using conventional NP contrast agents.

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