The use of medical imaging contrast agents may lead to improved patient prognosis by potentially enabling an earlier detection of diseases and therefore an earlier initiation of treatments. In this study, we fabricated superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticles within the inner cavity of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) for the first time; thereby ensuring high mechanical stability of the nanoparticles. A simple, but effective, self-assembled coating with RAFT diblock copolymers ensured the SPIO-MWCNTs have a high dispersion stability under physiological conditions. In vivo acute tolerance testing in mice showed a high tolerance dose up to 100 mg kg(-1). Most importantly, after administration of the material a 55% increase in tumor to liver contrast ratio was observed with in vivo MRI measurements compared to the preinjection image enhancing the detection of the tumor.