Pharmaceutical Research

, Volume 31, Issue 12, pp 3371–3378 | Cite as

Fluorescent Dye Labeled Iron Oxide/Silica Core/Shell Nanoparticle as a Multimodal Imaging Probe

  • Eue Soon Jang
  • Seung Yong Lee
  • Eui-Joon Cha
  • In-Cheol Sun
  • Ick Chan Kwon
  • Dukjoon Kim
  • Young Il Kim
  • Kwangmeyung Kim
  • Cheol-Hee Ahn
Research Paper



To develop an MRI/optical multimodal imaging probe based on dye-conjugated iron oxide/silica core/shell nanoparticle, and investigate the distance-dependent fluorescence quenching through careful control of the distance between the iron oxide core and fluorescent dyes.


Different size of core/shell nanoparticles were prepared by varying the silica shell width. PEGylation on the surface of silica shell was followed to improve the stability of particles in the physiological condition. In vitro cytotoxicity was evaluated by the MTT assay on a HeLa cell line and in vivo imaging of subcutaneous SCC7 xenografted mice was performed using MRI/optical imaging modalities.


Diameter and ζ-potential of the nanoparticles were measured, and TEM images demonstrated the mono-disperse nature of the particles. Quenching efficiency of the dyes on the surface was nearly 100% in the smallest nanoparticle, while almost no quenching effect was observed for the largest nanoparticle. In vitro cytotoxicity showed nearly 90% cell viability at 0.15 Fe mg/mL, a comparable concentration for clinical use. The tumor area was significantly darkened after the nanoparticle injection due to the high transverse relaxivity value of the nanoparticles. Fluorescence signal was affected by the particle size due to the distance-dependent quenching/dequenching behaviour.

Key Words

Core-shell nanoparticle Fluorescence quenching Iron oxide Multimodal imaging probe Optical imaging 



3-aminopropyl triethoxysilane




Cy-conjugated CS




Dulbecco’s modified eagle medium


Ethyl (dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide


Fetal bovine serum


Fluorescence resonance energy transfer


Hydrofluoric acid


Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry


Methoxy poly (ethylene glycol) mono acid


Magnetic resonance imaging


Methylthiazol tetrazolium


Near-infrared fluorescence






Transmission electron microscopy


Acknowledgments and Disclosures

This study was supported by a grant from Basic Science Research Program (grant no. 2010–0027955) of MEST and National Research Foundation of Korea (grant no. 2010–0023581). C.-H. Ahn appreciate LG Yonam Foundation for the support.

Supplementary material

11095_2014_1426_MOESM1_ESM.docx (411 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 411 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Advanced Materials Educational InstituteKumoh National Institute of TechnologyGumiSouth Korea
  2. 2.Research Institute of Advanced Materials (RIAM), Department of Materials Science and EngineeringSeoul National UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  3. 3.Biomedical Research CenterKorea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST)SeoulSouth Korea
  4. 4.Department of Chemical Engineering, Theranostic Macromolecule Research CenterSungkyunkwan UniversitySuwonSouth Korea
  5. 5.Department of RadiologySeoul National University HospitalSeoulSouth Korea
  6. 6.Materials Science and EngineeringSeoul National UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  7. 7.Biomedical Research CenterKorea Institute of Science and TechnologySeoulSouth Korea
  8. 8.RadiologySeoul National University HospitalSeoulSouth Korea

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