In this contribution, optically active and paramagnetic micelles of the ligand 1,4,7,10-tetraaza-1-(1-carboxymethylundecane)-4,7,10-triacetic acid cyclododecane (DOTAC10) have been incorporated inside capsids of the cowpea chlorotic mottle virus (CCMV) protein through a hierarchical process of self-assembly triggered by self-assembly. The DOTAC10 ligand was used to complex Gd-III , in order to form paramagnetic micelles, as well as to encapsulate an amphiphilic Zn-II phthalocyanine (ZnPc) dye that optically confirmed the encapsulation of the micelles. The incorporation of ZnPc molecules in the paramagnetic micelles led to high capsid loading of both Gd-III and ZnPc, as the micelles were stabilized by the amphiphilic dye encapsulation. The resulting protein cage nanoparticles (PCNs) show an improved r(1) relaxivity, suggesting the possible use of these nanostructures as contrast agents (CAs) for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Since the encapsulated ZnPc dye also has a potential therapeutic value, the present results represent a first step towards the consecution of fully selfassembled PCNs for multimodal imaging and therapy. (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- mri contrast agents
- transfer radical polymerization
- viral nanoparticles
- photodynamic therapy
- virus capsids