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Fluorescence Modified Chitosan-Coated Magnetic Nanoparticles for High-Efficient Cellular Imaging

Yuqing Ge1, Yu Zhang1, Shiying He1, Fang Nie2, Gaojun Teng2 and Ning Gu1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Jiangsu Laboratory for Biomaterials and Devices, State Key Laboratory of Bioelectronics, Nanjing, People’s Republic of China

2 Department of Radiology, Zhongda Hospital, Southeast University, Nanjing, 210096, People’s Republic of China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2009, 4:287-295  doi:10.1007/s11671-008-9239-9

Published: 16 January 2009


Labeling of cells with nanoparticles for living detection is of interest to various biomedical applications. In this study, novel fluorescent/magnetic nanoparticles were prepared and used in high-efficient cellular imaging. The nanoparticles coated with the modified chitosan possessed a magnetic oxide core and a covalently attached fluorescent dye. We evaluated the feasibility and efficiency in labeling cancer cells (SMMC-7721) with the nanoparticles. The nanoparticles exhibited a high affinity to cells, which was demonstrated by flow cytometry and magnetic resonance imaging. The results showed that cell-labeling efficiency of the nanoparticles was dependent on the incubation time and nanoparticles’ concentration. The minimum detected number of labeled cells was around 104by using a clinical 1.5-T MRI imager. Fluorescence and transmission electron microscopy instruments were used to monitor the localization patterns of the magnetic nanoparticles in cells. These new magneto-fluorescent nanoagents have demonstrated the potential for future medical use.

Magnetic nanoparticle; Fluorescence; Chitosan; Magnetic resonance imaging