Sotiriou GA, Hirt AM, Lozach PY, Teleki A, Krumeich F, Pratsinis SE
Chem Mater 23 (7) 1985-1992 [2011-04-12; online 2011-04-12]
Hybrid plasmonic-magnetic nanoparticles possess properties that are attractive in bioimaging, targeted drug delivery, in vivo diagnosis and therapy. The stability and toxicity, however, of such nanoparticles challenge their safe use today. Here, biocompatible, SiO2-coated, Janus-like Ag/Fe2O3 nanoparticles are prepared by one-step, scalable flame aerosol technology. A nanothin SiO2 shell around these multifunctional nanoparticles leaves intact their morphology, magnetic and plasmonic properties but minimizes the release of toxic Ag+ ions from the nanosilver surface and its direct contact with live cells. Furthermore, this silica shell hinders flocculation and allows for easy dispersion of such nanoparticles in aqueous and biological buffer (PBS) solutions without any extra functionalization step. As a result, these hybrid particles exhibited no cytotoxicity during bioimaging and remained stable in suspension with no signs of agglomeration and sedimentation or settling. Their performance as biomarkers was explored by selectively binding them with live tagged Raji and HeLa cells enabling their detection under dark-filed illumination. Therefore, these SiO2-coated Ag/Fe2O3 nanoparticles do not exhibit the limiting physical properties of each individual component but retain their desired functionalities facilitating thus, the safe use of such hybrid nanoparticles in bio-applications.