High-throughput chemical and chemoenzymatic approaches to saccharide-coated magnetic nanoparticles for MRI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • Thomas Fallows
  • Andrew McGrath
  • Joana Silva
  • Simon G. McAdams
  • Andrea Marchesi
  • Richard D. Tilley


There is a need for biofunctionalised magnetic nanoparticles for many biomedical applications, including MRI contrast agents that have a range of surface properties and functional groups. A library of eleven adducts, each formed by condensing a reducing sugar with a catechol hydrazide, for nanoparticle functionalisation has been created using a high-throughput chemical synthesis methodology. The enzymatic transformation of an N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) adduct into an N-acetyllactosamine adduct by β-1,4-galactosyltransferase illustrates how chemoenzymatic methods could provide adducts bearing complex and expensive glycans. Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (8 nm diameter, characterised by TEM, DLS and SQUID) were coated with these adducts and the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) properties of GlcNAc-labelled nanoparticles were determined. This straightforward approach can produce a range of MRI contrast agents with a variety of biofunctionalised surfaces.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalNanoscale Advances
Early online date29 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019