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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2017, Article ID 5184167, 11 pages
Research Article

Preparation and Characterization of a Tumor-Targeting Dual-Image System Based on Iron Oxide Nanoparticles Functionalized with Folic Acid and Rhodamine

1Facultad de Química, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, 50120 Toluca, MEX, Mexico
2Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Nucleares, Departamento de Materiales Radiactivos, 52750 Ocoyoacac, MEX, Mexico
3Instituto de Física, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 04510 Ciudad de México, Mexico
4Unidad de Investigación Biomédica en Cáncer INCan-UNAM, Instituto Nacional de Cancerología, 14080 Ciudad de México, Mexico
5Centro Conjunto de Investigación en Química Sustentable UAEM-UNAM, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, Toluca, MEX, Mexico

Correspondence should be addressed to Enrique Morales-Avila; xm.xemeau@vaselarome

Received 25 January 2017; Accepted 2 April 2017; Published 30 April 2017

Academic Editor: Murtaza Bohra

Copyright © 2017 Alejandra Ancira-Cortez 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.


Cancer is one of the diseases with most deaths worldwide, around 8.2 million annually. For this reason, several treatments and diagnostic tools have been investigated and developed over the past decades. Among them, a dual-image system has been developed to achieve and enhance the detection of cancer, which has not been done with systems currently available. The present study describes the preparation of a dual-image targeting system composed of magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles functionalized with folic acid and rhodamine; nanoparticles synthesis was achieved by a coprecipitation method; the functionalization was carried out by a carbodiimide with folic acid and/or the rhodamine isothiocyanate; conjugates were characterized by spectrometric techniques; toxicity was measured by cell proliferation assay on HeLa cells using progressive concentrations of functionalized nanoparticles. Cellular uptake assay was carried out by competitive assay on HeLa cells. Iron oxide magnetite nanoparticles, modified with folic acid and rhodamine, were successfully synthetized with a particle size lower than 20 nm (TEM), EDS, HRTEM, and XDR showed highly crystalline Fe3O4 nanoparticles. Folic acid and rhodamine were conjugated with high efficiency. A significant selectivity and uptake, facilitated by surface modification of iron oxide nanoparticles with folic acid, were demonstrated. The multifunctional system showed suitable physicochemical and biological properties for cell targeting through folate receptors.