One-Step Synthesis of Single-Stranded DNA-Bridged Iron Oxide Supraparticles as MRI Contrast Agents

Jingfang Zhang, Zhenghan Di, Husheng Yan, Yuliang Zhao, Lele Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Despite progress on DNA-assembled nanoparticle (NP) superstructures, their complicated synthesis procedures hamper their potential biomedical applications. Here, we present an exceptionally simple strategy for the synthesis of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) assembled Fe3O4 supraparticles (DFe-SPs) as magnetic resonance contrast agents. Unlike traditional approaches that assemble DNA-conjugated NPs via Watson-Crick hybridization, our DFe-SPs are formed with a high yield through one-step synthesis and assembly of ultrasmall Fe3O4 NPs via ssDNA-metal coordination bridges. We demonstrate that the DFe-SPs can efficiently accumulate into tumors for sensitive MR imaging. By virtue of reversible DNA-metal coordination bridges, the DFe-SPs could be disassembled into isolated small NPs in vivo, facilitating their elimination from the body. This work opens a new avenue for the ssDNA-mediated synthesis of superstructures, which expands the repertoire of DNA-directed NP assembly for biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2793-2799
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 14 2021


  • DNA
  • imaging
  • iron oxide nanoparticles
  • nanoparticle assembly
  • superstructures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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