Novel Gd-Loaded Silicon Nanohybrid: A Potential Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Expressing Cancer Cell Targeting Magnetic Resonance Imaging Contrast Agent

Sougata Sinha, Wing Yin Tong, Nathan H. Williamson, Steven J.P. McInnes, Simon Puttick, Anna Cifuentes-Rius, Richa Bhardwaj, Sally E. Plush, Nicolas H. Voelcker

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Continuing our research efforts in developing mesoporous silicon nanoparticle-based biomaterials for cancer therapy, we employed here porous silicon nanoparticles as a nanocarrier to deliver contrast agents to diseased cells. Nanoconfinement of small molecule Gd-chelates (L1-Gd) enhanced the T1 contrast dramatically compared to distinct Gd-chelate (L1-Gd) by virtue of its slow tumbling rate, increased number of bound water molecules, and their occupancy time. The newly synthesized Gd-chelate (L1-Gd) was covalently grafted on silicon nanostructures and conjugated to an antibody specific for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) via a hydrazone linkage. The salient feature of this nanosized contrast agent is the capability of EGFR targeted delivery to cancer cells. Mesoporous silicon nanoparticles were chosen as the nanocarrier because of their high porosity, high surface area, and excellent biodegradability. This type of nanosized contrast agent also performs well in high magnetic fields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42601-42611
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number49
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2017


  • EGFR
  • Gd
  • MRI
  • porous silicon nanoparticles
  • T contrast agents

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