Gold Nanoparticle-Based Fluorescent Contrast Agent with Enhanced Sensitivity
Oxygen Transport to Tissue XXXIX
Advances in experimental medicine and biology, July 2017
Kyung Aih Kang, Mai-Dung Nguyen
Gold nanoparticle (GNP) based contrast agents that are highly specific and sensitive for both optical and X-ray/CT imaging modalities are being developed for detecting the cancer expressing nucleolin and matrix metallo-proteinase 14 (MMP-14) on the cell membrane: Nucleolin is normally present in the nucleus. For many cancer cells, however, it is over-expressed on the cell membrane, having it to be a good cancer marker. Aptamer AS1411 is known to be an excellent target for nucleolin and also known to treat several cancer types; and MMP-14 in cancer is involved in tumor angiogenesis, blood vessel re-organization, and metastasis. In the proposed agent, AS1411 is selected as the cancer targeting molecule; and the unique property of GNPs of modulating fluorescence are utilized to allow the agent to trigger its fluorescence upon reacting with MMP-14, at an enhanced fluorescence level. GNPs are also natural X-ray/CT contrast agent. Here, as a part of on-going development of the dual-modality contrast agent, we report that conjugating a safe, NIR fluorophore Cypate at a precisely determined distance from the GNP enhanced the Cypate fluorescence up to two times. In addition, successful conjugation of the nucleolin target AS1411 onto the GNP was confirmed and among the GNPs size range 5-30 nm tested, 10 nm GNPs showed the highest X-ray/CT enhancement.
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