A bimodal molecular imaging probe based on chitosan encapsulated magneto-fluorescent nanocomposite offers biocompatibility, visualization of specific cancer cellsin vitroand lung tissuesin vivo

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Graphical abstract

Chitosan encapsulated multifunctional magneto-fluorescent nanocomposites were synthesized and characterized using different spectroscopy and microscopy techniques. The in vitro imaging and staining studies suggested presence of both fluorescent as well as magnetically active materials inside cellular environment. The in vivo biodistribution and toxicity studies revealed that these nanocomposites might find their application as efficient bimodal imaging probe for biological systems.

Multifunctional hybrid nanocomposite material, consists of chitosan encapsulated iron oxide (as MRI contrasting agent), CdS (as fluorescent probe) nanoparticles and podophyllotoxin (as anticancer drug) was synthesized and characterized. The TEM studies suggested the size of the NPs to be in the range of 80–100 nm. These nanocomposites were treated with different cancer cell lines viz., KB, C6 and A549 cells. Fluorescence imaging and Perl's Prussian blue staining confirmed the presence of these nanocomposites inside both KB and C6 cells but not in A549 cells. Cytotoxicity experiments revealed that these biopolymer coated nanocomposites showed minimal toxicity towards cancerous cells. Further the intraperitoneal administration of one of the nanoformulations to Wistar rats suggested deposition of these nanocomposites in the lungs. The hematological, biochemical and histopathological analysis confirmed that these nanocomposites are safe to use as a novel dual mode imaging material.

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