Functionalization of iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles with targeting ligands: Their physicochemical properties and in vivo behavior

Chen Fang, Omid Veiseh, Forrest Kievit, Narayan Bhattarai, Freddy Wang, Zach Stephen, Chun Li, Donghoon Lee, Richard G. Ellenbogen, Miqin Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Aim: To develop and evaluate two tumor-specific nanoprobes by functionalization of a polyethylene glycol-immobilized nanoparticle with arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) or chlorotoxin ligand that targets αvβ3 integrin and matrix metalloproteinase-2 receptors, respectively. Materials & methods: The nanoprobes were made of iron oxide cores, biocompatible polymer coating, and surface-conjugated RGD or chlorotoxin peptide. The tumor-targeting specificity of the nanoprobes was evaluated both in vitro and in vivo. Results & discussion: Both nanoprobes were highly dispersive and exhibited excellent long-term stability in cell culture media. The RGD-conjugated nanoprobe displayed a strong initial accumulation near neovasculatures in tumors followed by quick clearance. Conversely, the chlorotoxin-enabled nanoprobe exhibited sustained accumulation throughout the tumor. Conclusion: These findings revealed the influence of the targeting ligands on the intratumoral distribution of the ligand-enabled nanoprobes. With flexible surface chemistry, our nanoparticle platform can be used in a modular fashion to conjugate biomolecules for intended applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1357-1369
Number of pages13
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • RGD peptide
  • bioconjugation
  • cancer
  • chlorotoxin
  • glioma
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • nanoparticle
  • nanotechnology
  • stability
  • targeting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)


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