Theranostics 2013; 3(12):986-1003. doi:10.7150/thno.4827


Multifunctional Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for Diagnostics, Therapy and Macromolecule Delivery

Swee Kuan Yen1, Parasuraman Padmanabhan2, Subramanian Tamil Selvan1,3 ✉

1. Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research), 3 Research Link, Singapore 117602
2. The Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Drive, Research Techno Plaza, Level 4, X-Frontier Block, Singapore 637553.
3. National University of Singapore, Division of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, 7 Engineering Drive 1 Singapore 117576.

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Yen SK, Padmanabhan P, Selvan ST. Multifunctional Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for Diagnostics, Therapy and Macromolecule Delivery. Theranostics 2013; 3(12):986-1003. doi:10.7150/thno.4827. Available from

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In recent years, multifunctional nanoparticles (NPs) consisting of either metal (e.g. Au), or magnetic NP (e.g. iron oxide) with other fluorescent components such as quantum dots (QDs) or organic dyes have been emerging as versatile candidate systems for cancer diagnosis, therapy, and macromolecule delivery such as micro ribonucleic acid (microRNA). This review intends to highlight the recent advances in the synthesis and application of multifunctional NPs (mainly iron oxide) in theranostics, an area used to combine therapeutics and diagnostics. The recent applications of NPs in miRNA delivery are also reviewed.

Keywords: nanoparticles, iron oxide, gold, contrast agents, MRI, optical imaging, miRNA delivery, theranostics.