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Combined Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Photodynamic Therapy Using Polyfunctionalised Nanoparticles Bearing Robust Gadolinium Surface Units

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Nicolas G. Chabloz, Hannah L. Perry, Il-Chul Yoon, Andrew J. Coulson, Andrew J.P. White, Graeme J. Stasiuk, Rene M. Botnar, James D.E.T. Wilton-Ely

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4552-4566
Number of pages15
JournalChemistry (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany)
Issue number20
Early online date25 Jan 2020
Accepted/In press23 Jan 2020
E-pub ahead of print25 Jan 2020
Published6 Apr 2020


King's Authors


A robust dithiocarbamate tether allows novel gadolinium units based on DOTAGA (q = 1) to be attached to the surface of gold nanoparticles (2.6 - 4.1 nm diameter) along with functional units offering biocompatibility, targeting and photodynamic therapy. A dramatic increase in relaxivity (r1) per Gd unit from 5.01 mM-1 s-1 in unbound form to 31.68 mM-1 s-1 (10 MHz, 37 °C) is observed when immobilised on the surface due to restricted rotation and enhanced rigidity of the Gd complex on the nanoparticle surface. The single-step synthetic route provides a straightforward and versatile way of preparing multifunctional gold nanoparticles, including examples with conjugated zinc-tetraphenylporphyrin photosensitizers. The lack of toxicity of these materials (MTT assays) is transformed on irradiation of HeLa cells for 30 minutes (PDT), leading to 75% cell death. In addition to passive targeting, the inclusion of units capable of actively targeting overexpressed folate receptors illustrates the potential of these assemblies as targeted theranostic agents.

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