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Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging
Volume 2018, Article ID 8264208, 12 pages
Research Article

Biodistribution and Tumors MRI Contrast Enhancement of Magnetic Nanocubes, Nanoclusters, and Nanorods in Multiple Mice Models

1National University of Science and Technology (MISIS), Moscow 119049, Russia
2M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow 119991, Russia
3Department of Medical Nanobiotechnology, Russian National Research Medical University, Moscow 117997, Russia
4D. Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia, Moscow 125047, Russia

Correspondence should be addressed to V. Naumenko; moc.liamg@tciv.oknemuan

Received 11 July 2018; Accepted 19 August 2018; Published 24 September 2018

Academic Editor: Guillermina Ferro-Flores

Copyright © 2018 V. Naumenko 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.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a powerful technique for tumor diagnostics. Iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) are safe and biocompatible tools that can be used for further enhancing MR tumor contrasting. Although numerous IONPs have been proposed as MRI contrast agents, low delivery rates to tumor site limit its application. IONPs accumulation in malignancies depends on both IONPs characteristics and tumor properties. In the current paper, three differently shaped Pluronic F-127-modified IONPs (nanocubes, nanoclusters, and nanorods) were compared side by side in three murine tumor models (4T1 breast cancer, B16 melanoma, and CT26 colon cancer). Orthotopic B16 tumors demonstrated more efficient IONPs uptake than heterotopic implants. Magnetic nanocubes (MNCb) had the highest r2-relaxivity in vitro (300 mM−1·s−1) compared with magnetic nanoclusters (MNCl, 104 mM−1·s−1) and magnetic nanorods (MNRd, 51 mM−1·s−1). As measured by atomic emission spectroscopy, MNCb also demonstrated better delivery efficiency to tumors (3.79% ID) than MNCl (2.94% ID) and MNRd (1.21% ID). Nevertheless, MNCl overperformed its counterparts in tumor imaging, providing contrast enhancement in 96% of studied malignancies, whereas MNCb and MNRd were detected by MRI in 73% and 63% of tumors, respectively. Maximum MR contrasting efficiency for MNCb and MNCl was around 6-24 hours after systemic administration, whereas for MNRd maximum contrast enhancement was found within first 30 minutes upon treatment. Presumably, MNRd poor MRI performance was due to low r2-relaxivity and rapid clearance by lungs (17.3% ID) immediately after injection. MNCb and MNCl were mainly captured by the liver and spleen without significant accumulation in the lungs, kidneys, and heart. High biocompatibility and profound accumulation in tumor tissues make MNCb and MNCl the promising platforms for MRI-based tumor diagnostics and drug delivery.