Herein is reported the synthesis of gadolinium ion (Gd(III))-chelated hyperbranched conjugated polyelectrolyte (HCPE-Gd) and its application in fluorescence and magnetic resonance (MR) dual imaging in live animals. The synthesized HCPE-Gd forms nanospheres with an average diameter of ∼42 nm measured by laser light scattering and a quantum yield of 10% in aqueous solution. The absorption spectrum of HCPE-Gd has two maxima at 318 and 417 nm, and its photoluminescence maximum centers at 591 nm. Confocal laser scanning microscopy studies indicate that the HCPE-Gd is internalized in MCF-7 cancer cell cytoplasm with good photostability and low cytotoxicity. Further fluorescence and MR imaging studies on hepatoma H22 tumor-bearing mouse model reveal that HCPE-Gd can serve as an efficient optical/MR dual-modal imaging nanoprobe for in vivo cancer diagnosis.
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