Riboflavin carrier protein-targeted fluorescent USPIO for the assessment of vascular metabolism in tumors

J. Jayapaul, S. Arns, W. Lederle, Twan Gerardus Gertudis Maria Lammers, P. Comba, J. Gätjens, F. Kiessling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract Riboflavin (Rf) and its metabolic analogs flavin mononucleotide (FMN) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) are essential for normal cellular growth and function. Their intracellular transport is regulated by the riboflavin carrier protein (RCP), which has been shown to be over-expressed by metabolically active cancer cells. Therefore, FAD-decorated ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (FAD USPIO) were developed as the first carrier-protein-targeted molecular MR agents for visualizing tumor metabolism. FAD USPIO were synthesized using an adsorptive, fluorescent and non-polymeric coating method, and their physicochemical properties were characterized using TEM, SEM, FTIR, MRI and fluorescence spectroscopy. In vitro analyses showed the biocompatibility of FAD USPIO, and confirmed that they were strongly and specifically taken up by cancer (LnCap) and endothelial (HUVEC) cells. In vivo molecular MRI together with subsequent histological validation finally demonstrated that FAD USPIO efficiently accumulate in tumors and tumor blood vessels, indicating that RCP-targeted diagnostic nanoparticles are interesting new materials for the assessment of vascular metabolism in tumors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8822-8829
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • IR-83088
  • METIS-292686


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