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Nanotechnology. 2006 Aug 28;17(16):4183-90. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/17/16/031. Epub 2006 Aug 1.

Detection of magnetic nanoparticles in tissue using magneto-motive ultrasound.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA.


The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the magneto-motive ultrasonic detection of superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticles as a marker of macrophage recruitment in tissue. The capability of ultrasound to detect SPIO nanoparticles (core diameter ∼20 nm) taken up by murine liver macrophages was investigated. Eight mice were sacrificed two days after the intravenous administration of four SPIO doses (1.5, 1.0, 0.5, and 0.1 mmol Fe/kg body weight). In the iron-laden livers, ultrasound Doppler measurements showed a frequency shift in response to an applied time-varying magnetic field. M-mode scan and colour power Doppler images of the iron-laden livers also demonstrated nanoparticle movement under focused magnetic field excitation. In the livers of two saline injected control mice, no movement was observed using any ultrasound imaging modes. The results of our experiments indicate that ultrasound imaging of magneto-motive excitation is a candidate imaging modality to identify tissue-based macrophages containing SPIO nanoparticles.

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