Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - BIO2MAN4MRI (Biomimetic and Biomineralized Magnetic Nanoparticles for Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

Magnetite nanoparticles, especially superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION), are established contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Magnetosomes, magnetite nanoparticles of biological origin have been shown to have better contrast properties than current formulations, possibly because of their larger size. Here, we present an integrated study of magnetosomes and synthetic magnetite nanoparticles of varying size and therefore with different magnetic properties. We test not only the contrast properties of these particles but also their cytotoxicity and demonstrate the higher contrast of the larger particles. A theoretical model is presented that enables us to simulate the R2/R1 ratio of a contrast agent and confirm that larger particles offer higher contrast. The results from this study illustrate the possibility to obtain colloidal stability of large magnetic nanoparticles for MRI applications, and serve as an impetus for a more quantitative description of the contrast effect as a function of size.

Nanoscience and nanotechnology are currently revolutionizing sectors such as medicine, information technologies, environmental or materials sciences, and creating new opportunities for our societies. In this context, magnetic nanoparticles (MNP) are key components to the development of novel nano- and biotechnologies. Magnetosomes are unique hybrid magnetic MNP produced by magnetotactic bacteria (MB). They are employed in applications ranging from extraction of DNA to the development of immunoassays and uses in spintronics are envisaged. However, only a very limited amount of MNP (few mg per day) can be formed by MB, and the formation principles remain to be tackled.

Biomimetics, i.e. combining biological principles with chemistry, will pave the way to understand biomineralization of tailored MNP and to find out high-value high-yield synthetic routes to solve scientific and technological challenges. Specifically, we aspire at bridging the gap between different fields of science. For the first time, we blend biological and genetic approaches with chemical and physical knowledge to understand the key parameters controlling the size, shape, composition and assembly of hybrid MNP in vivo and in vitro. We combine nanoscience and nanotechnology to modify these properties and develop an ensemble of magnetic nanomaterials of higher values. This approach leads to original contributions of innovative nature based on the combined skills of the partners to manufacture and characterize the biological, chemical, structural and magnetic properties of the MNP. The industrial partner has key importance in managing and assessing the applicability of the MNP in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Finally, our cell biologist partner tests the biocompatibility of the designed systems. In 3 years, we aimed at being able to synthesize hybrid MNP with tailored magnetic and size properties by low-cost high-yield synthesis for applications in MRI.

In addition, our main research outcomes should be recognized within the field of biomedicine and in the longer term that they should also enable the development of better contrast agent for MRI. The results obtained within the project confirmed, that contrast agents which are based on monocrystalline particles, offer very promising contrast properties compared to commercial available ones. Therefore, the dissemination of the results will open new perspectives in the field of contrast agent research and imaging.

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Reported by

MAX PLANCK GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER WISSENSCHAFTEN E.V.
Germany
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