Imaging modalities utilize contrast agents to improve morphological visualization and to assess functional and molecular/cellular information. Here we present a new type of nanometer scale multi-functional particle that can be used for multi-modal imaging and therapeutic applications. Specifically, we synthesized monodisperse 20 nm Prussian Blue Nanocubes (PBNCs) with desired optical absorption in the near-infrared region and superparamagnetic properties. PBNCs showed excellent contrast in photoacoustic (700 nm wavelength) and MR (3T) imaging. Furthermore, photostability was assessed by exposing the PBNCs to nearly 1,000 laser pulses (5 ns pulse width) with up to 30 mJ/cm2 laser fluences. The PBNCs exhibited insignificant changes in photoacoustic signal, demonstrating enhanced robustness compared to the commonly used gold nanorods (substantial photodegradation with fluences greater than 5 mJ/cm2). Furthermore, the PBNCs exhibited superparamagnetism with a magnetic saturation of 105 emu/g, a 5x improvement over superparamagnetic iron-oxide (SPIO) nanoparticles. PBNCs exhibited enhanced T2 contrast measured using 3T clinical MRI. Because of the excellent optical absorption and magnetism, PBNCs have potential uses in other imaging modalities including optical tomography, microscopy, magneto-motive OCT/ultrasound, etc. In addition to multi-modal imaging, the PBNCs are multi-functional and, for example, can be used to enhance magnetic delivery and as therapeutic agents. Our initial studies show that stem cells can be labeled with PBNCs to perform image-guided magnetic delivery. Overall, PBNCs can act as imaging/therapeutic agents in diverse applications including cancer, cardiovascular disease, ophthalmology, and tissue engineering. Furthermore, PBNCs are based on FDA approved Prussian Blue thus potentially easing clinical translation of PBNCs.
Jason R. Cook, Diego S. Dumani, Kelsey P. Kubelick, Jeffrey Luci, and Stanislav Y. Emelianov, "Prussian blue nanocubes: multi-functional nanoparticles for multimodal imaging and image-guided therapy (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10064, Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2017, 100641T (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 31, 2017; Published: 24 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2256216.5379284501001.
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