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Nanotheranostics. 2018 Jan 1;2(1):87-95. doi: 10.7150/ntno.21942. eCollection 2018.

Construction of Multifunctional Fe3O4-MTX@HBc Nanoparticles for MR Imaging and Photothermal Therapy/Chemotherapy.

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School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361002, Fujian, P. R. China.
Key Laboratory of Biomedical Engineering of Fujian Province University/Research Center of Biomedical Engineering of Xiamen, Department of Biomaterials, College of Materials, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, Fujian, P. R. China.
Department of Electronic Science, Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Plasma and Magnetic Resonance Research, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, Fujian, P. R. China.
Fujian Collaborative Innovation Center for Exploitation and Utilization of Marine Biological Resources, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, Fujian, P. R. China.
State Key Lab of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, P. R. China.


To accomplish effective cancer imaging and integrated therapy, the multifunctional nanotheranostic Fe3O4-MTX@HBc core-shell nanoparticles (NPs) were designed. A straightforward method was demonstrated for efficient encapsulation of magnetic NPs into the engineered virus-like particles (VLPs) through the affinity of histidine tags for the methotrexate (MTX)-Ni2+ chelate. HBc144-His VLPs shell could protect Fe3O4-MTX NPs from the recognition by the reticuloendothelial system as well as could increase their cellular uptake efficiency. Through our well-designed tactic, the photothermal efficiency of Fe3O4 NPs were obviously improved in vitro and in vivo upon near-infrared (NIR) laser irradiation. Moreover, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) results showed that the Fe3O4-MTX@HBc core-shell NPs were reliable T2-type MRI contrast agents for tumor imaging. Hence the Fe3O4-MTX@HBc core-shell NPs may act as a promising theranostic platform for multimodal cancer treatment.


Chemotherapy; MRI; Photothermal Therapy; Theranostic; Virus-Like Nanoparticles

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interest exists.

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