JOURNAL ARTICLE

High molecular weight chitosan derivative polymeric micelles encapsulating superparamagnetic iron oxide for tumor-targeted magnetic resonance imaging

Yunbin Xiao, Zuan Tao Lin, Yanmei Chen, He Wang, Ya Li Deng, D Elizabeth Le, Jianguo Bin, Meiyu Li, Yulin Liao, Yili Liu, Gangbiao Jiang, Jianping Bin
International Journal of Nanomedicine 2015, 10: 1155-72
25709439
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents based on chitosan derivatives have great potential for diagnosing diseases. However, stable tumor-targeted MRI contrast agents using micelles prepared from high molecular weight chitosan derivatives are seldom reported. In this study, we developed a novel tumor-targeted MRI vehicle via superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) encapsulated in self-aggregating polymeric folate-conjugated N-palmitoyl chitosan (FAPLCS) micelles. The tumor-targeting ability of FAPLCS/SPIONs was demonstrated in vitro and in vivo. The results of dynamic light scattering experiments showed that the micelles had a relatively narrow size distribution (136.60±3.90 nm) and excellent stability. FAPLCS/SPIONs showed low cytotoxicity and excellent biocompatibility in cellular toxicity tests. Both in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated that FAPLCS/SPIONs bound specifically to folate receptor-positive HeLa cells, and that FAPLCS/SPIONs accumulated predominantly in established HeLa-derived tumors in mice. The signal intensities of T2-weighted images in established HeLa-derived tumors were reduced dramatically after intravenous micelle administration. Our study indicates that FAPLCS/SPION micelles can potentially serve as safe and effective MRI contrast agents for detecting tumors that overexpress folate receptors.

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