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ACS Nano. 2012 Aug 28;6(8):7318-25. doi: 10.1021/nn3024267. Epub 2012 Jul 20.

A simple and widely applicable method to 59Fe-radiolabel monodisperse superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles for in vivo quantification studies.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, D-20246 Hamburg,Germany.


A simple, fast, efficient, and widely applicable method to radiolabel the cores of monodisperse superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIOs) with (59)Fe was developed. These cores can be used as precursors for a variety of functionalized nanodevices. A quality control using filtration techniques, size-exclusion chromatography, chemical degradation methods, transmission electron microscopy, and magnetic resonance imaging showed that the nanoparticles were stably labeled with (59)Fe. Furthermore, the particle structure and the magnetic properties of the SPIOs were unchanged. In a second approach, monodisperse SPIOs stabilized with (14)C-oleic acid were synthesized, and the stability of this shell labeling was studied. In proof of principle experiments, the (59)Fe-SPIOs coated with different shells to make them water-soluble were used to evaluate and compare in vivo pharmacokinetic parameters such as blood half-life. It could also be shown that our radiolabeled SPIOs embedded in recombinant lipoproteins can be used to quantify physiological processes in closer detail than hitherto possible. In vitro and in vivo experiments showed that the (59)Fe label is stable enough to be applied in vivo, whereas the (14)C label is rapidly removed from the iron core and is not adequate for in vivo studies. To obtain meaningful results in in vivo experiments, only (59)Fe-labeled SPIOs should be used.

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