Physico-chemical and toxicological characterization of iron-containing albumin nanoparticles as platforms for medical imaging

Ina Rosenberger, Christian Schmithals, Jennifer Vandooren, Silvia Bianchessi, Paolo Milani, Erica Locatelli, Liron L. Israel, Frank Hübner, Michela Matteoli, Jean Paul Lellouche, Mauro Comes Franchini, Lorena Passoni, Eugenio Scanziani, Ghislain Opdenakker, Albrecht Piiper, Jörg Kreuter

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23 Scopus citations


Iron oxide-containing magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) have certain advantages over currently used contrast agents for tumor imaging by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as they offer the possibility of functionalization with ligands and tracers. Functionalized MNPs also may be used for targeted tumor therapy. In the current study nanoparticles (NPs) consisting of recombinant human serum albumin (rHSA) with incorporated hydrophilic (NH4)2Ce(IV)(NO3)6-γ-Fe2O3particles (CAN maghemite particles) for medical imaging were produced and characterized. For this purpose CAN maghemite particles were incorporated into an rHSA matrix to yield rHSA-NPs. The resulting NPs were analyzed by transmission electron microscopy, photon correlation spectroscopy, and atomic absorption. The sizes of the manufactured NP were 170 ± 10 nm, and the zeta-potential was - 50 ± 3 mV. The NPs remained stable when stored after lyophilization with sucrose 3% [w/v] as a cryoprotector. They showed pro-inflammatory properties without cell and animal toxicity in vivo and were highly contrasting in MRI. In conclusion, this report introduces novel rHSA NP with favorable properties containing iron oxide for detection by MRI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-137
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
StatePublished - 28 Nov 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 263307 .

FundersFunder number
European Union's Seventh Programme263307


    • Air pouch model
    • Contrast agent
    • Diagnostic tool
    • Irwin test
    • Magnetic nanoparticles
    • Medical imaging


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