Simplified synthesis and relaxometry of magnetoferritin for magnetic resonance imaging

Veronica Clavijo Jordan, Michael Caplan, Kevin M. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Magnetoferritin nanoparticles have been developed as high-relaxivity, functional contrast agents for MRI. Several previous techniques have relied on unloading native ferritin and re-incorporation of iron into the core, often resulting in a polydisperse sample. Here, a simplified technique is developed using commercially available horse spleen apoferritin to create monodisperse magnetoferritin. Iron oxide atoms were incorporated into the protein core via a step-wise Fe(II)Chloride addition to the protein solution under low O 2 conditions; subsequent filtration steps allow for separation of completely filled and superparamagnetic magnetoferritin from the partially filled ferritin. This method yields a monodisperse and homogenous solution of spherical particles with magnetic properties that can be used for molecular magnetic resonance imaging. With a transverse per-iron and per-particle relaxivity of 78 mM-1 sec-1 and 404,045 mM-1 sec-1, respectively, it is possible to detect ∼10 nM nanoparticle concentrations in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1260-1266
Number of pages7
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • Ferritin
  • MRI
  • Magnetoferritin
  • Molecular imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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