Illinois BioNanotechnology Seminar Series Fall 2011: Magnetomotive Molecular Nanoprobe

By Stephen Boppart

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Magnetomotive Molecular Nanoprobe

The diagnostic, interrogational, and therapeutic potential of molecular nanoprobes is rapidly being investigated and exploited across virtually every biomedical imaging modality. While many types of probes enhance contrast or delivery therapy by static localization to targeted sites, significant potential exists for utilizing dynamic molecular nanoprobes. Recent examples include molecular beacons, photoactivatable probes, or controlled switchable drug-releasing particles, to name a few. We have developed a novel class of dynamic molecular nanoprobes that rely on the application and control of localized external magnetic fields. These magnetomotive molecular nanoprobes can provide optical image contrast through a modulated scattering signal, can interrogate the biomechanical properties of their viscoelastic microenvironment by tracking their underdamped oscillatory step-response to applied fields, and can potentially delivery therapy through nanometer-to-micrometer mechanical displacement or local hyperthermia. This class of magnetomotive agents includes not only magnetic iron-oxide nanoparticles, but also new magnetomotive microspheres or nanostructures with embedded iron-oxide agents. In vitro three-dimensional cell assays and in vivo targeting studies in animal tumor models have demonstrated the potential for multimodal detection and imaging, using magnetic resonance imaging for whole-body localization, and magnetomotive optical coherence tomography for high-resolution localization and imaging.


Dr. Stephen Allan Boppart, Beckman Institute, Bioengineering, and ECE



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  • Stephen Boppart (2011), "Illinois BioNanotechnology Seminar Series Fall 2011: Magnetomotive Molecular Nanoprobe,"

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1000 MNTL, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL


Zuhaib Bashir Sheikh

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign