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1.  Hybrid gold-iron oxide nanoparticles as a multifunctional platform for biomedical application 
Iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) have increasing applications in biomedicine, however fears over long term stability of polymer coated particles have arisen. Gold coating IONPs results in particles of increased stability and robustness. The unique properties of both the iron oxide (magnetic) and gold (surface plasmon resonance) result in a multimodal platform for use as MRI contrast agents and as a nano-heater.
Here we synthesize IONPs of core diameter 30 nm and gold coat using the seeding method with a poly(ethylenimine) intermediate layer. The final particles were coated in poly(ethylene glycol) to ensure biocompatibility and increase retention times in vivo. The particle coating was monitored using FTIR, PCS, UV–vis absorption, TEM, and EDX. The particles appeared to have little cytotoxic effect when incubated with A375M cells. The resultant hybrid nanoparticles (HNPs) possessed a maximal absorbance at 600 nm. After laser irradiation in agar phantom a ΔT of 32°C was achieved after only 90 s exposure (50 μgmL-1). The HNPs appeared to decrease T2 values in line with previously clinically used MRI contrast agent Feridex®.
The data highlights the potential of these HNPs as dual function MRI contrast agents and nano-heaters for therapies such as cellular hyperthermia or thermo-responsive drug delivery.
PMCID: PMC3448509  PMID: 22731703
Magnetic nanoparticles; Gold nano-shells; Magnetic resonance imaging; Surface plasmon resonance; Multifunctional nanoparticles
2.  Interventional robotic systems: Applications and technology state-of-the-art 
Many different robotic systems have been developed for invasive medical procedures. In this article we will focus on robotic systems for image-guided interventions such as biopsy of suspicious lesions, interstitial tumor treatment, or needle placement for spinal blocks and neurolysis. Medical robotics is a young and evolving field and the ultimate role of these systems has yet to be determined. This paper presents four interventional robotics systems designed to work with MRI, CT, fluoroscopy, and ultrasound imaging devices. The details of each system are given along with any phantom, animal, or human trials. The systems include the AcuBot for active needle insertion under CT or fluoroscopy, the B-Rob systems for needle placement using CT or ultrasound, the INNOMOTION for MRI and CT interventions, and the MRBot for MRI procedures. Following these descriptions, the technology issues of image compatibility, registration, patient movement and respiration, force feedback, and control mode are briefly discussed. It is our belief that robotic systems will be an important part of future interventions, but more research and clinical trials are needed. The possibility of performing new clinical procedures that the human cannot achieve remains an ultimate goal for medical robotics. Engineers and physicians should work together to create and validate these systems for the benefits of patients everywhere.
PMCID: PMC3107540  PMID: 16754193
Medical robotics; minimally invasive procedures; interventional robots; image-guided interventions; MR-guided interventions
4.  Engineered Biocompatible Nanoparticles for in Vivo Imaging Applications 
Journal of the American Chemical Society  2010;132(42):15022-15029.
Iron−platinum alloy nanoparticles (FePt NPs) are extremely promising candidates for the next generation of contrast agents for magnetic resonance (MR) diagnostic imaging and MR-guided interventions, including hyperthermic ablation of solid cancers. FePt has high Curie temperature, saturation magnetic moment, magneto-crystalline anisotropy, and chemical stability. We describe the synthesis and characterization of a family of biocompatible FePt NPs suitable for biomedical applications, showing and discussing that FePt NPs can exhibit low cytotoxicity. The importance of engineering the interface of strongly magnetic NPs using a coating allowing free aqueous permeation is demonstrated to be an essential parameter in the design of new generations of diagnostic and therapeutic MRI contrast agents. We report effective cell internalization of FePt NPs and demonstrate that they can be used for cellular imaging and in vivo MRI applications. This opens the way for several future applications of FePt NPs, including regenerative medicine and stem cell therapy in addition to enhanced MR diagnostic imaging.
PMCID: PMC2962530  PMID: 20919679

Results 1-4 (4)