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Engineering red-emitting multi-functional nanocapsules for magnetic tumour targeting and imaging

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Julie Tzu-Wen Wang, Umberto Martino, Rehan Khan, Paul Southern, Donus Tuncel, Khuloud T. Al-jamal

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiomaterials Science
Early online date4 Mar 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Mar 2020

King's Authors


In this work we describe the formulation and characterisation of red-emitting polymeric nanocapsules (NCs) incorporating superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) for magnetic tumour targeting. The self-fluorescent oligomers were synthesised and chemically conjugated to PLGA which was confirmed by NMR, FT-IR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. Hydrophobic SPIONs were synthesised through thermal decomposition and their magnetic and heating properties were assessed by SQUID magnetometry and calorimetric measurements, respectively. Magnetic nanocapsules (m-NC) were prepared by single emulsification/solvent evaporation method. The in vitro cytotoxicity was examined in CT26 colon cancer cells. The formulated fluorescent m-NCs showed good stability and biocompatibility both in vitro and in vivo in CT 26 colon cancer models. Following intravenous injection, accumulation of m-NCs in tumour was observed by optical imaging. Higher iron content in the tumours exposed to magnetic field, compared to the contralateral tumours without the magnetic exposure in the same animal, further confirmed the magnetic tumour targeting in vivo. The overall results show that the engineered red-emitting m-NCs have a great potential as multifunctional nanocarriers for multi-model bioimaging and magnetic-targeted drug delivery.

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