The effect of the anchoring group of surface ligands on the magnetic properties, especially relaxometric properties, of PEGylated Fe3O4 nanoparticles is investigated. Systematic experimental results together with in-depth theoretical analysis reveal that the ligand binding affinity can largely vary the saturation magnetization, whereas conjugated anchoring groups can remarkably enhance the transverse relaxivity, which highlights a novel approach for achieving high-performance MRI contrast agents.
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