Manganese-gold nanoparticles as an MRI positive contrast agent in mesenchymal stem cell labeling

Simona E.Hunyadi Murph, Stephanie Jacobs, Jimei Liu, Tom C.C. Hu, Matthew Siegfired, Steven M. Serkiz, Joan Hudson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We report a straightforward approach to prepare multifunctional manganese-gold nanoparticles by attaching Mn(II) ions onto the surface of 20 nm citrate-capped gold nanoparticles. In vitro MRI measurements made in agarose gel phantoms exhibited high relaxivity (18.26 ± 1.04 mmol-1 s-1). Controlled incubation of the nanoparticles with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) was used to study cellular uptake of these particles and this process appeared to be controlled by the size of the nanoparticle aggregates in the extracellular solution. SEM images of live MSCs showed an increased concentration of particles near the cell membrane and a distribution of the size of particles within the cells. Survivability for MSCs in contact with Mn-Au NPs was greater than 97%over the 3-day period and up to the 1 mM Mn used in this study. The high relaxivity and low cell mortality are suggestive of an enhanced positive contrast agent for in vitro or in vivo applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number658
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Gold
  • Imaging
  • MRI
  • Manganese
  • Multifunctional nanoparticles
  • Nanomedicine
  • Stem cell uptake
  • Synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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