Targeted Gold Nanoparticles Enable Molecular CT Imaging of Cancer

Department of Chemistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.
Nano Letters (Impact Factor: 12.94). 01/2009; 8(12):4593-6. DOI: 10.1021/nl8029114
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT X-ray based computed tomography (CT) is among the most convenient imaging/diagnostic tools in hospitals today in terms of availability, efficiency, and cost. However, in contrast to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and various nuclear medicine imaging modalities, CT is not considered a molecular imaging modality since targeted and molecularly specific contrast agents have not yet been developed. Here we describe a targeted molecular imaging platform that enables, for the first time, cancer detection at the cellular and molecular level with standard clinical CT. The method is based on gold nanoprobes that selectively and sensitively target tumor selective antigens while inducing distinct contrast in CT imaging (increased X-ray attenuation). We present an in vitro proof of principle demonstration for head and neck cancer, showing that the attenuation coefficient for the molecularly targeted cells is over 5 times higher than for identical but untargeted cancer cells or for normal cells. We expect this novel imaging tool to lead to significant improvements in cancer therapy due to earlier detection, accurate staging, and microtumor identification.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Methoxy PEGylated nanoparticles (mPEG-NPs) are increasingly used for cancer imaging and therapy. Here we describe a general and simple approach to confer tumor tropism to any mPEG-NP. We demonstrate this approach with humanized bispecific antibodies (BsAbs) that can bind to both mPEG molecules on mPEG-NPs and to EGFR or HER2 molecules overexpressed on the surface of cancer cells. Simple mixing of BsAbs with mPEG-NPs can mediate preferential binding of diverse mPEG-NPs to cancer cells that overexpress EGFR or HER2 under physiological conditions and significantly increase cancer cell killing by liposomal doxorubicin to EGFR(+) and HER2(+) cancer cells. BsAbs modification also enhanced accumulation of fluorescence-labeled NPs and significantly increased the anticancer activity of drug-loaded NPs to antigen-positive human tumors in a mouse model. Anti-mPEG BsAbs offer a simple one-step method to confer tumor specificity to mPEG-NPs for enhanced tumor accumulation and improved therapeutic efficacy.
    Biomaterials 09/2014; 35(37). DOI:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2014.08.032 · 8.31 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The combination of CT imaging and photoacoustic (PA) imaging represents not only high resolution and ease of forming 3D visual image for locating tissues of interest, but also good soft tissue contrast and excellent high sensitivity, which is very beneficial to the precise guidance for photothermal therapy (PTT). The near infrared (NIR) absorbing Au nanostructures take advantages to operate as a CT contrast agent due to high absorption coefficient of X-ray and outstanding biocompatibility, but show obvious deficiency for PA imaging and PTT because of low photostability. Attacking this problem head on, the Au nanoparticles (NPs) were coated with Prussian blue (PB) which is a typical FDA-approved drug in clinic for safe and effective treatment of radioactive exposure. The obtained core/shell NPs of Au@PB NPs of 17.8 ± 2.3 nm were found to be an excellent photoabsorbing agent for both PTT and PA imaging due to high photostability and high molar extinction coefficient in NIR region. Their gold core of 9.1 ± 0.64 nm ensured a remarkable contrast enhancement for CT imaging. Through a one-time treatment of NIR laser irradiation after intravenous injection of Au@PB NPs, 100 mm3 sized tumors in nude mice could be completely ablated without recurrence. Such versatile nanoparticles integrating effective cancer diagnosis with noninvasive therapy might bring opportunities to future cancer therapy.
    Biomaterials 07/2014; 35(22):5814–5821. DOI:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2014.04.005 · 8.31 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Development of multifunctional theranostic nanoplatforms for targeted cancer imaging and therapy still remains a great challenge. Herein, we report the use of multifunctional dendrimer-entrapped gold nanoparticles (Au DENPs) covalently linked with α-tocopheryl succinate (α-TOS) as a platform for targeted cancer computed tomography (CT) imaging and therapy. In this study, amine-terminated poly(amidoamine) dendrimers of generation 5 (G5.NH2) conjugated with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FI), polyethylene glycol (PEG)-modified α-TOS, and PEGylated folic acid (FA) were used as templates to synthesize Au DENPs, followed by acetylation of the remaining dendrimer terminal amines. The formed multifunctional Au DENPs were characterized via different techniques. We show that the Au DENPs conjugated with approximately 9.8 α-TOS molecules per dendrimer and with an Au core size of 3.3 nm are water-dispersible, and stable under different pH and temperature conditions and in different aqueous media. The FA modification onto the Au DENPs enables efficient targeting of the particles to cancer cells overexpressing FA receptors (FAR), and effective targeted CT imaging of the cancer cells in vitro and the xenografted tumor model in vivo. Likewise, the covalent conjugation of α-TOS does not compromise its therapeutic activity, instead significantly improves its water solubility. Importantly, thanks to the role of FA-directed targeting, the formed multifunctional Au DENPs are able to exert the specific therapeutic efficacy of α-TOS to the FAR-overexpressing cancer cells in vitro and the xenografted tumor model in vivo. The developed multifunctional Au DENPs may hold a great promise to be used as a unique theranostic nanoplatform for targeted CT imaging and therapy of different types of cancer.
    Biomaterials 06/2014; 35(26). DOI:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2014.05.046 · 8.31 Impact Factor


Available from