Rapid size-controlled synthesis of dextran-coated, 64Cu-doped iron oxide nanoparticles

Ray M. Wong, Dustin A. Gilbert, Kai Liu, Angelique Y. Louie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


Research into developing dual modality probes enabled for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) has been on the crise recently due to the potential to combine the high resolution of MRI and the high sensitivity of PET. Current synthesis techniques for developing multimodal probes is largely hindered in part by prolonged reaction times during radioisotope incorporation - leading to a weakening of the radioactivity. Along with a time-efficient synthesis, the resulting products must fit within a critical size range (between 20 and 100 nm) to increase blood retention time. In this work, we describe a novel, rapid, microwave-based synthesis technique to grow dextran-coated iron oxide nanoparticles doped with copper (DIO/Cu). Traditional methods for coprecipitation of dextran-coated iron oxide nanoparticles require refluxing for 2 h and result in approximately 50 nm diameter particles. We demonstrate that microwave synthesis can produce 50 nm nanoparticles with 5 min of heating. We discuss the various parameters used in the microwave synthesis protocol to vary the size distribution of DIO/Cu and demonstrate the successful incorporation of 64Cu into these particles with the aim of future use for dual-mode MR/PET imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3461-3467
Number of pages7
JournalACS Nano
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 24 2012


  • dual modality
  • iron oxide
  • microwave
  • MRI
  • nanoparticle
  • PET
  • radiolabel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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