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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2007 (2007), Article ID 94740, 9 pages
Research Article

Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles Coated with Galactose-Carrying Polymer for Hepatocyte Targeting

1School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-921, South Korea
2Department of Nuclear Medicine, Chonbuk National University School of Medicine, Jeonju 561-712, South Korea
3Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju 501-746, South Korea
4Department of Biomolecular Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Yokohama 226-8501, Japan

Received 2 April 2007; Accepted 24 December 2007

Academic Editor: Marek Osinski

Copyright © 2007 Mi Kyong Yoo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Our goal is to develop the functionalized superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) demonstrating the capacities to be delivered in liver specifically and to be dispersed in physiological environment stably. For this purpose, SPIONs were coated with polyvinylbenzyl-O-β-D-galactopyranosyl-D-gluconamide (PVLA) having galactose moieties to be recognized by asialoglycoprotein receptors (ASGP-R) on hepatocytes. For use as a control, we also prepared SPIONs coordinated with 2-pyrrolidone. The sizes, size distribution, structure, and coating of the nanoparticles were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electrophoretic light scattering spectrophotometer (ELS), X-ray diffractometer (XRD), and Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), respectively. Intracellular uptake of the PVLA-coated SPIONs was visualized by confocal laser scanning microscopy, and their hepatocyte-specific delivery was also investigated through magnetic resonance (MR) images of rat liver. MRI experimental results indicated that the PVLA-coated SPIONs possess the more specific accumulation property in liver compared with control, which suggests their potential utility as liver-targeting MRI contrast agent.