Multifunctional yolk-shell nanoparticles: A potential MRI contrast and anticancer agent

Jinhao Gao, Gaolin Liang, Jerry S. Cheung, Yue Pan, Yi Kuang, Fan Zhao, Bei Zhang, Xixiang Zhang, Ed X. Wu, Bing Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

336 Scopus citations


We report a new type of multifunctional nanomaterials, FePt@Fe 2O3 yolk-shell nanoparticles, that exhibit high cytotoxicity originated from the FePt yolks and strong MR contrast enhancement resulting from the Fe2O3 shells. Encouraged by the recently observed high cytotoxicity of FePt@CoS2 yolk-shell nanoparticles, we used Fe2O3 to replace CoS2 as the shells to further explore the applications of the yolk-shell nanostructures. The ultralow IC50 value (238 ± 9 ng of Pt/mL) of FePt@Fe2O3 yolk-shell nanoparticles likely originates from the fact that the slow oxidation and release of FePt yolks increases the cytotoxicity. Moreover, compared with two commercial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents, MION and Sinerem, the FePt@Fe2O3 yolk-shell nanoparticle showed stronger contrast enhancement according to their apparent transverse relaxivity values (r2* = 3.462 (μg/mL)-1 s-1). The bifunctional FePt@Fe 2O3 yolk-shell nanoparticles may serve both as an MRI contrast agent and as a potent anticancer drug. This work indicates that these unique yolk-shell nanoparticles may ultimately lead to new designs of multifunctional nanostructures for nanomedicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11828-11833
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number35
StatePublished - Sep 3 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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