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Imaging Breast Cancer Cells and Tissues Using Peptide-Labeled Fluorescent Silica Nanoparticles

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The imaging of tumor cells and tumor tissue samples is very important for cancer detection and therapy. We have taken advantages of fluorescent silica nanoparticles (FSiNPs) coupled with a molecular recognition element that allows for effective in vitro and ex vivo imaging of tumor cells and tissues. In this study, we report on the targeting and imaging of MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells using arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) peptide-labeled FSiNPs. When linked with RGD peptide using the cyanogen bromide (CNBr) method, the FSiNPs exhibited high target binding to αv3 integrin receptor (ABIR)-positive MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells in vitro. Further study regarding the ex vivo imaging of tumor tissue samples was also carried out by intravenously injecting RGD peptide-labeled FSiNPs into athymic nude mice bearing the MDA-MB-231 tumors. Tissue images demonstrated that the high integrin αv3 expression level of the MDA-MB-231 tumors was clearly visible due to the special targeting effects of the RGD peptide-labeled FSiNPs, and the tumor fluorescence reached maximum intensity at 1 h postinjection. Our results break new ground for using FSiNPs to optically image tumors, and may also broaden the applications of silica nanoparticles in biomedicine.
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Keywords: BREAST CANCER; FLUORESCENT NANOPARTICLES; IMAGING; INTEGRIN; RGD PEPTIDE

Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: 2008-05-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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