Enhanced magnetic resonance imaging of experimental pancreatic tumor in vivo by block copolymer-coated magnetite nanoparticles with TGF-β inhibitor

Michiaki Kumagai, Mitsunobu R. Kano, Yasuyuki Morishita, Motomi Ota, Yutaka Imai, Nobuhiro Nishiyama, Masaki Sekino, Shoogo Ueno, Kohei Miyazono, Kazunori Kataoka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Citations (Scopus)


Early detection of solid tumors, particularly pancreatic cancer, is of substantial importance in clinics. Enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with iron oxide nanoparticles is an available way to detect the cancer. The effective and selective accumulation of these nanoparticles in the tumor tissue is needed for improved imaging, and in this regard, their longevity in the blood circulation time is crucial. We developed here block copolymer-coated magnetite nanoparticles for pancreatic cancer imaging, by means of a chelation between the carboxylic acid groups in poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(aspartic acid) block copolymer (PEG-PAsp) and Fe on the surface of the iron oxide nanoparticles. These nanoparticles had considerably narrow distribution, even upon increased ionic strength or in the presence of fetal bovine serum. The PEG-PAsp-coated nanoparticles were further shown to be potent as a contrast agent for enhanced MRI for an experimental pancreatic cancer, xenografts of the human-derived BxPC3 cell line in BALB/c nude mice, with combined administration of TGF-β inhibitor. Iron staining of tumor tissue confirmed the accumulation of the nanoparticles in tumor tissue. Use of the PEG-PAsp-coated magnetite nanoparticles, combined with the TGF-β inhibitor, is of promising clinical importance for the detection of intractable solid cancers, including pancreatic cancer. Graphical abstract: {A figure is presented}.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-311
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 16 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Magnetite nanoparticles
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Poly(ethylene glycol)
  • TGF-β

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science

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