Multifunctional Magnetic Gold Nanocomposites: Human Epithelial Cancer Detection via Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Localized Synchronous Therapy


  • This work was supported by the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) through the National Core Research Center for Nanomedical Technology (R15-2004-024-00000-0 and R01-2006-000-10023-0), the National R&D Program for Cancer Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (0620190-1), the Korea Research Foundation Grant funded by the Korean Government (MOEHRD) (KRF-2006-311-D01001), by KOSEF (KOSEF 2007-8-1158) and the KOSEF grant funded by the Korea government (MOST).


Novel multifunctional magnetic gold nanocomposites (MGNCs) were synthesized for synchronous cancer therapy and diagnosis via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The MGNCs consist of magnetic kernels (aggregates of ultra-sensitive MnFe2O4 magnetic nanocrystals wrapped in polymer) as effective MR contrast agents and silica–gold nanocomposites as hyperthermal therapeutic agents. A therapeutic antibody, Erbitux (ERB), was conjugated for specific tumor cell targeting both to localize the near-IR laser beam and to image their events through MRI. ERB-conjugated MGNCs selectively recognize the target cancer cell lines. Fluorescence images and MRI analysis show that the MGNCs are effectively taken up by the cells. ERB-conjugated MGNCs have an excellent synchronous therapeutic efficacy as a result of the therapeutic antibody and near-IR laser-induced surface plasmon resonance. Consequently, MGNCs clearly demonstrate selective imaging and treatment of human epithelial cancer simultaneously.