Synthesis, self-assembly, and characterization of PEG-coated iron oxide nanoparticles as potential MRI contrast agent

Chen Yue-Jian, Tao Juan, Xiong Fei, Zhu Jia-Bi, Gu Ning, Zhang Yi-Hua, Ding Ye, Ge Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Aim: Investigated the self-assembly and characterization of novel antifouling polyethylene glycol (PEG)-coated iron oxide nanoparticles as nanoprobes for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent. Method: Monodisperse oleic acid-coated superparamagnetic iron oxide cores are synthesized by thermal decomposition of iron oleate. The self-assembly behavior between iron oxide cores and PEG-lipid conjugates in water and their characteristics are confirmed by transmission electron microscope, X-ray diffraction, thermogravimetric analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and vibrating sample magnetometer. Result: Dynamic light scattering shows superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles coated with PEG are stable in water for pH of 310 and ionic strengths up to 0.3 M NaCl, and are protein resistant in physiological conditions. Additionally, in vitro MRI study demonstrates the efficient magnetic resonance imaging contrast characteristics of the iron oxide nanoparticles. Conclusion: The result indicates that the novel antifouling PEG-coated superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles could potentially be used in a wide range of applications such as biotechnology, MRI, and magnetic fluid hyperthermia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1235-1244
Number of pages10
JournalDrug Development and Industrial Pharmacy
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • CMC
  • MRI
  • Magnetic nanoparticles
  • Monodisperse
  • Self-assembly
  • Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles
  • Thermal decomposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry


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