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Synthesis, Characterization, and Application of Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoprobes for Extrapulmonary Tuberculosis Detection

Published: February 16th, 2020



1Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Taipei Medical University-Shuang Ho Hospital, 2Department of Research and Department of Dentistry, Taipei Medical University / Shuang-Ho Hospital, 3Department of Pathology, Taipei Medical University, 4Department of Urology, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, 5McLean Imaging Center, McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School, 6Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, 7Department of Medicine, Mackay Medical College, 8Department of Biological Science and Technology, National Chiao Tung University, 9Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, Taipei Medical University

To improve serological diagnostic tests for Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens, we developed superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoprobes to detect extrapulmonary tuberculosis.

A molecular imaging probe comprising superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticles and Mycobacterium tuberculosis surface antibody (MtbsAb) was synthesized to enhance imaging sensitivity for extrapulmonary tuberculosis (ETB). An SPIO nanoprobe was synthesized and conjugated with MtbsAb. The purified SPIO-MtbsAb nanoprobe was characterized using TEM and NMR. To determine the targeting ability of the probe, SPIO-MtbsAb nanoprobes were incubated with Mtb for in vitro imaging assays and injected into Mtb-inoculated mice for in vivo investigation with magnetic resonance (MR). The contrast enhancement reduction on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of Mtb and THP1 cells showed proportional to the SPIO-MtbsAb nanoprobe concentration. After 30 min of intravenous SPIO-MtbsAb nanoprobe injection into Mtb-infected mice, the signal intensity of the granulomatous site was enhanced by 14-fold in the T2-weighted MR images compared with that in mice receiving PBS injection. The MtbsAb nanoprobes can be used as a novel modality for ETB detection.

Globally, extrapulmonary tuberculosis (ETB) represents a significant proportion of tuberculosis (TB) cases. Nevertheless, ETB diagnosis is often missed or delayed because of its insidious clinical presentation and poor performance on diagnostic tests; false results include sputum smears negative for acid-fast bacilli, lack of granulomatous tissue on histopathology, or failure to culture Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). Relative to typical cases, ETB occurs less frequently and involves little liberation of the Mtb bacilli. In addition, it is usually localized at difficult-to-access sites, such as lymph nodes, pleura, and osteoarticular areas....

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All protocol regarding animal experiment follows the standard operating procedures for laboratory animal breeding in accordance with the National Institutes of Health Guidelines for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (8th Edition, 2011) and is approved by the institutional animal care and use committee.

1. SPIO nanoparticle synthesis

  1. Prepare dextran-coated iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles by vigorously stirring a mixture of dextran T-40 (5 mL; 50% w/w) and aqueous FeCl3

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SPIO-MtbsAb nanoprobe synthesis and characterization
SPIO nanoparticles were designed to conjugate with MtbsAb. The dextran stabilized on the surface of SPIO nanoparticles was crosslinked by epichlorohydrin. SPIO nanoparticles were subsequently incorporated with EDBE to activate primary amine functional groups at the dextran ends. SA was then conjugated to form SPIO-EDBE-SA. SPIO-MtbsAb nanoprobes formed in the final step through the conjugation of MtbsAb with SPIO-EDBE-SA in the presence of the co.......

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Similar to relevant studies, our findings regarding SPIO-MtbsAb nanoprobes demonstrated a significant specificity for Mtb27,28. The subcutaneous Mtb granuloma was found 1 month after TB injection in the mouse models. The typical TB granulomatous histology findings included lymphocyte infiltration, presence of epithelioid macrophages, and neovascularization. Acid-fast bacilli were scattered in the TB lesions, corroborating the MtbsAb immunohistochemistry findings........

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The authors are thankful for the financial support from the Ministry of Economy Taiwan (grants NSC-101-2120-M-038-001, MOST 104-2622-B-038 -007, MOST 105-2622-B-038-004) to perform this research work. This manuscript was edited by Wallace Academic Editing.


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Name Company Catalog Number Comments
(benzotriazol-1-yloxy) tripyrrolidinophosphonium hexafluorophosphate Sigma-Aldrich
1-hydroxybenzotriazole Sigma-Aldrich
dextran(T-40) GE Healthcare Bio-sciences AB
epichlorohydrin, 2,2'-(ethylenedioxy)bis(ethylamine) Sigma-Aldrich
ferric chloride hexahydrate Fluka
ferrous chloride tetrahydrate Fluka
Human monocytic THP-1
M. bovis BCG Pasteur Mérieux Connaught strain; ImmuCyst Aventis
MRI GE medical Systems 3.0-T, Signa
NH4OH Fluka
NMR relaxometer Bruker NMS-120 Minispec
Sephacryl S-300 GE Healthcare Bio-sciences AB
Sephadex G-25 GE Healthcare Bio-sciences AB
SPECTRUM molecular porous membrane tubing, 12,000 -14,000 MW cut off Spectrum Laboratories Inc
TB surface antibody- Polyclonal Antibody to Mtb Acris Antibodies GmbH BP2027
transmission electron microscope JEOL JEM-2000 EX II

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