Biocompatible nanocomposite for PET/MRI hybrid imaging

Erica Locatelli, Larraitz Gil, Liron Limor Israel, Lorena Passoni, Maria Naddaka, Andrea Pucci, Torsten Reese, Vanessa Gomez-Vallejo, Paolo Milani, Michela Matteoli, Jordi Llop, Jean Paul Lellouche, Mauro Comes Franchini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


A novel nanocarrier system was designed and developed with key components uniquely structured at the nanoscale for early cancer diagnosis and treatment. In order to perform magnetic resonance imaging, hydrophilic superparamagnetic maghemite nanoparticles (NPs) were synthesized and coated with a lipophilic organic ligand. Next, they were entrapped into polymeric NPs made of biodegradable poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) linked to polyethylene glycol. In addition, resulting NPs have been conjugated on their surface with a 2,2'-(7-(4-((2-aminoethyl)amino)-1-carboxy-4-oxobutyl)-1,4,7-triazonane-1,4-diyl)diacetic acid ligand for subsequent 68Ga incorporation. A cell-based cytotoxicity assay has been employed to verify the in vitro cell viability of human pancreatic cancer cells exposed to this nanosystem. Finally, in vivo positron emission tomography-computerized tomography biodistribution studies in healthy animals were performed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6021-6033
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Nanomedicine
StatePublished - 2012


  • Maghemite nanoparticles
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Organic coating
  • Polymeric nanoparticles
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Radiolabeling


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