Immune compatible cystine-functionalized superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles as vascular contrast agents in ultrasonography

Sara Dolci, Valentina Domenici, Gianpaolo Vidili, Marco Orecchioni, Pasquale Bandiera, Roberto Madeddu, Cristiano Farace, Massimiliano Peana, Maria Rosaria Tiné, Roberto Manetti, Francesco Sgarrella, Lucia Gemma Delogu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) have been extensively investigated for many biomedical applications. A good quality functionalization that combines imaging goals with a high-level of biocompatibility remains one of the challenges for particle translation into medical practice. Here, we focus on a new functionalization of SPIONs with cystine (Cy-SPIONs). Cystine is able to make SPIONs stable and dispersible in water and in culture cell media. New insights are provided into the biological and immune effects of Cy-SPIONs with a wide variety of standard and molecular assays to evaluate cytotoxicity, cell activation, cytokine release and the expression of 84 genes related to immune responses. A good immune biocompatibility of Cy-SPIONs on primary immune cells was found. The great potential of Cy-SPIONs for further in vivo studies and as contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is highlighted. In addition, we also exploited ultrasonography, since it is a safer, less expensive and common imaging technology. The good echogenic properties of Cy-SPIONs in water and in whole blood are shown, both in vitro and in a phantom vein for bloodstream simulations. Our results open up a new scenario for future applications of cystine-functionalized SPIONs as immune-compatible ultrasound and MRI contrast agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2712-2723
Number of pages12
JournalRSC Advances
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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