The development of novel methods for tumor detection is a burgeoning area of research. In particular, the use of silica nanoparticles for optical imaging in the near infrared (NIR) represents a valuable tool because their chemical inertness, biocompatibility, and transparency in the ultraviolet-visible and NIR regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Moreover, silica nanoparticles can be modified with a wide variety of functional groups such as aptamers, small molecules, antibodies and polymers. Here, we report the development of a mucin 1(MUC1)-specific dye-doped NIR emitting mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MUC1-NIR-MSN) platform for the optical detection of breast cancer tissue overexpressing human tumor-associated MUC1. We have characterized the structural properties and the in vitro performance of this system. The MSN-based optical imaging probe is non-cytotoxic and targets efficiently murine mammary epithelial cancer cells overexpressing human MUC1. Finally, the ability of MUC1-NIR-MSN contrast imaging agent to selectively detect breast cancer tumors overexpressing human tumor-associated MUC1 was successfully demonstrated in a transgenic murine mouse model. The NIR imaging experiments on tumor-bearing animals showed specific accumulation of the MSN-based probe in human MUC1-positive tumors and small signal in control tumors. We envision that this MUC1-specific MSN-based optical probe has the potential to greatly aid in screening prospective patients for early breast cancer detection and in monitoring the efficacy of drug therapy.
Juan L. Vivero-Escoto, Laura Moore Jeffords, Didier Dréau, Merlis Alvarez-Berrios, and Pinku Mukherjee, "Mucin1 antibody-conjugated dye-doped mesoporous silica nanoparticles for breast cancer detection in vivo," Proc. SPIE 10078, Colloidal Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications XII, 100780B (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 28, 2017; Published: 22 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252369.
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