Chitosan-Coated Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for Molecular Imaging and Drug Delivery

  • Hamed Arami
  • Zachary Stephen
  • Omid Veiseh
  • Miqin Zhang
Part of the Advances in Polymer Science book series (POLYMER, volume 243)


Iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) are a new class of nanomaterials which have attracted extensive interest for application in in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) due to their intrinsic superparamagnetic and biodegradable properties. Performance of the IONPs is largely dependent upon the properties of their surface coatings, which serve to prevent nanoparticle agglomeration, reduce the risk of immunogenicity, and limit nonspecific cellular uptake. Among the coating materials studied to date, chitosan has drawn considerable attention. Commonly derived from crustacean shells, chitosan is a natural linear polysaccharide and has ample reactive functional groups that can serve as anchors for conjugation of therapeutics, targeting ligands, and imaging agents. Because of these unique attributes, chitosan-coated IONPs are becoming more desirable for cancer imaging and therapy applications. This chapter discusses the current advances and challenges in synthesis of chitosan-coated IONPs, and their subsequent surface modifications for applications in cancer diagnosis and therapy.


Cancer Chitosan Drug delivery Gene therapy Imaging Iron oxide Magnetic nanoparticles MRI Nanomedicine 



This work is supported by NIH grants R01EB006043, and R01CA134213. O. Veiseh acknowledges support through the NIH/NCI training grant (T32CA138312).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hamed Arami
    • 1
  • Zachary Stephen
    • 1
  • Omid Veiseh
    • 1
  • Miqin Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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