Hybrid multimodal nanoparticles, applicable simultaneously to the noninvasive imaging and therapeutic treatment, are highly demanded for clinical use. Here, Fe-Au core-satellite nanoparticles prepared by the method of pulsed laser ablation in liquids were evaluated as dual magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) contrast agents and as sensitizers for laser-induced hyperthermia of cancer cells. The biocompatibility of Fe-Au nanoparticles was improved by coating with polyacrylic acid, which provided excellent colloidal stability of nanoparticles with highly negative ζ-potential in water (−38 ± 7 mV) and retained hydrodynamic size (88 ± 20 nm) in a physiological environment. The ferromagnetic iron cores offered great contrast in MRI images with r2 = 11.8 ± 0.8 mM−1 s−1 (at 1 T), while Au satellites showed X-ray attenuation in CT. The intravenous injection of nanoparticles enabled clear tumor border visualization in mice. Plasmonic peak in the Fe-Au hybrids had a tail in the near-infrared region (NIR), allowing them to cause hyperthermia under 808 nm laser exposure. Under NIR irradiation Fe-Au particles provided 24.1 °C/W heating and an IC50 value below 32 µg/mL for three different cancer cell lines. Taken together, these results show that laser synthesized Fe-Au core-satellite nanoparticles are excellent theranostic agents with multimodal imaging and photothermal capabilities.
- iron-gold nanoparticles
- multimodal imaging
- photothermal therapy
- pulsed laser ablation in liquids