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      Multifunctional magnetic nanoparticles: design, synthesis, and biomedical applications.

      Accounts of Chemical Research
      American Chemical Society (ACS)

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          The combination of nanotechnology and molecular biology has developed into an emerging research area: nanobiotechnology. Magnetic nanoparticles are well-established nanomaterials that offer controlled size, ability to be manipulated externally, and enhancement of contrast in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). As a result, these nanoparticles could have many applications in biology and medicine, including protein purification, drug delivery, and medical imaging. Because of the potential benefits of multimodal functionality in biomedical applications, researchers would like to design and fabricate multifunctional magnetic nanoparticles. Currently, there are two strategies to fabricate magnetic nanoparticle-based multifunctional nanostructures. The first, molecular functionalization, involves attaching antibodies, proteins, and dyes to the magnetic nanoparticles. The other method integrates the magnetic nanoparticles with other functional nanocomponents, such as quantum dots (QDs) or metallic nanoparticles. Because they can exhibit several features synergistically and deliver more than one function simultaneously, such multifunctional magnetic nanoparticles could have unique advantages in biomedical applications. In this Account, we review examples of the design and biomedical application of multifunctional magnetic nanoparticles. After their conjugation with proper ligands, antibodies, or proteins, the biofunctional magnetic nanoparticles exhibit highly selective binding. These results indicate that such nanoparticles could be applied to biological medical problems such as protein purification, bacterial detection, and toxin decorporation. The hybrid nanostructures, which combine magnetic nanoparticles with other nanocomponents, exhibit paramagnetism alongside features such as fluorescence or enhanced optical contrast. Such structures could provide a platform for enhanced medical imaging and controlled drug delivery. We expect that the combination of unique structural characteristics and integrated functions of multicomponent magnetic nanoparticles will attract increasing research interest and could lead to new opportunities in nanomedicine.

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