Open Access Open Badges Nano Express

Efficient CD44-targeted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of breast cancer cells using hyaluronic acid (HA)-modified MnFe2O4 nanocrystals

Taeksu Lee1, Eun-Kyung Lim23, Jaemin Lee1, Byunghoon Kang1, Jihye Choi1, Hyo Seon Park5, Jin-Suck Suh234, Yong-Min Huh234* and Seungjoo Haam13*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Yonsei University, Seoul, 120-749, South Korea

2 Department of Radiology, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Seoul, 120-752, South Korea

3 YUHS-KRIBB Medical Convergence Research Institute, Seoul, 120-752, South Korea

4 Severance Biomedical Science Institute, Seoul, 120-752, South Korea

5 Department of Architectural Engineering, Yonsei University, Seoul, 120-749, South Korea

For all author emails, please log on.

Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:149  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-149

Published: 2 April 2013


Targeted molecular imaging with hyaluronic acid (HA) has been highlighted in the diagnosis and treatment of CD44-overexpressing cancer. CD44, a receptor for HA, is closely related to the growth of cancer including proliferation, metastasis, invasion, and angiogenesis. For the efficient detection of CD44, we fabricated a few kinds of HA-modified MnFe2O4 nanocrystals (MNCs) to serve as specific magnetic resonance (MR) contrast agents (HA-MRCAs) and compared physicochemical properties, biocompatibility, and the CD44 targeting efficiency. Hydrophobic MNCs were efficiently phase-transferred using aminated polysorbate 80 (P80) synthesized by introducing spermine molecules on the hydroxyl groups of P80. Subsequently, a few kinds of HA-MRCAs were fabricated, conjugating different ratios of HA on the equal amount of phase-transferred MNCs. The optimized conjugation ratio of HA against magnetic content was identified to exhibit not only effective CD44 finding ability but also high cell viability through in vitro experiments. The results of this study demonstrate that the suggested HA-MRCA shows strong potential to be used for accurate tumor diagnosis.

Colloidal nanoparticles; Nanomedicine; Nanobioimaging; Hyaluronic acid; Magnetic resonance imaging