Background: Drug and contrast agent delivery systems that achieve controlled release in the presence of enzymatic activity are becoming increasingly important, as enzymatic activity is a hallmark of a wide array of diseases, including cancer and atherosclerosis. Here, we have synthesized clusters of ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxides (USPIOs) that sense enzymatic activity for applications in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). To achieve this goal, we utilize amphiphilic poly(propylene sulfide)-bl-poly(ethylene glycol) (PPS-b-PEG) copolymers, which are known to have excellent properties for smart delivery of drug and siRNA.