SPION-loaded chitosan-linoleic acid nanoparticles to target hepatocytes

Chang-Moon Lee, Hwan-Jeong Jeong, Se-Lim Kim, Eun-Mi Kim, Dong Wook Kim, Seok Tae Lim, Kyu Yoon Jang, Yong Yeon Jeong, Jae-Woon Nah, Myung-Hee Sohn
International Journal of Pharmaceutics 2009 April 17, 371 (1): 163-9
The aim of this study was to develop a novel polymeric magnetic nanoprobe as an MRI contrast agent to target hepatocytes, as well as to evaluate the targeting ability of the nanoprobe with MRI in vivo. Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanocrystals (SPIONs) were synthesized by a thermal decomposition and seed growth method. An 1-ethyl-3-(3-(dimethylamino)-propyl) carbodiimide (EDC)-mediated reaction coupled water-soluble chitosan (WSC) to linoleic acid (LA). Twelve-nanometer-sized SPIONs were incorporated into the core of self-assembled WSC-LA nanoparticles. The morphology and size distribution of the SPION-loaded WSC-LA nanoparticles (SCLNs) were determined by transmittance electron microscopy (TEM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS), respectively. The encapsulation of SPIONs in the WSC-LA nanoparticles reduced the cytotoxicity of bare iron particles and enhanced their dispersion ability in water. The clustering of SPIONs into WSC-LA nanoparticles showed ultrasensitive magnetic behavior. After in vivo intravascular SCLN injection, MRI revealed relative signal enhancement in the liver. The localization of SCLN in hepatocytes was confirmed by Prussian blue staining and TEM analysis. We have successfully developed an ultrasensitive SCLN that effectively targets hepatocytes. The SCLN can be used as a contrast agent to aid in the diagnosis of hepatic diseases.

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