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Anti-CEA loaded maghemite nanoparticles as a theragnostic device for colorectal cancer

Authors Campos da Paz M, Almeida Santos MF, Santos CM, da Silva SW, de Souza LB, Lima EC, Silva RC, Lucci CM, Morais PC, Azevedo RB, Lacava ZG

Received 23 March 2012

Accepted for publication 24 May 2012

Published 4 October 2012 Volume 2012:7 Pages 5271—5282

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S32139

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Mariana Campos da Paz,1 Maria de Fátima M Almeida Santos,1 Camila MB Santos,2 Sebastião W da Silva,2 Lincoln Bernardo de Souza,3 Emília CD Lima,3 Renata C Silva,1 Carolina M Lucci,1 Paulo César Morais,2 Ricardo B Azevedo,1 Zulmira GM Lacava1

1Instituto de Ciências Biológicas; 2Instituto de Física, Universidade de Brasília, Brasília, DF, Brazil; 3Instituto de Química, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, GO, Brazil

Abstract: Nanosized maghemite particles were synthesized, precoated (with dimercaptosuccinic acid) and surface-functionalized with anticarcinoembryonic antigen (anti-CEA) and successfully used to target cell lines expressing the CEA, characteristic of colorectal cancer (CRC) cells. The as-developed nanosized material device, consisting of surface decorated maghemite nanoparticles suspended as a biocompatible magnetic fluid (MF) sample, labeled MF-anti-CEA, was characterized and tested against two cell lines: a high-CEA expressing cell line (LS174T) and a low-CEA expressing cell line (HCT116). Whereas X-ray diffraction was used to assess the average core size of the as-synthesized maghemite particles (average 8.3 nm in diameter), dynamic light scattering and electrophoretic mobility measurements were used to obtain the average hydrodynamic diameter (550 nm) and the zeta-potential (−38 mV) of the as-prepared and maghemite-based nanosized device, respectively. Additionally, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) was used to track the surface decoration of the nanosized maghemite particles from the very first precoating up to the attachment of the anti-CEA moiety. The Raman peak at 1655 cm−1, absent in the free anti-CEA spectrum, is the signature of the anti-CEA binding onto the precoated magnetic nanoparticles. Whereas MTT assay was used to confirm the low cell toxicity of the MF-anti-CEA device, ELISA and Prussian blue iron staining tests performed with both cell lines (LS174T and HCT116) confirm that the as-prepared MF-anti-CEA is highly specific for CEA-expressing cells. Finally, transmission electron microscopy analyses show that the association with anti-CEA seems to increase the number of LS174T cells with internalized maghemite nanoparticles, whereas no such increase seems to occur in the HCT116 cell line. In conclusion, the MF-anti-CEA sample is a biocompatible device that can specifically target CEA, suggesting its potential use as a theragnostic tool for CEA-expressing tumors, micrometastasis, and cancer-circulating cells.

Keywords: magnetic nanoparticles, anti-CEA antibody, targeted delivery, diagnostic, Raman, biocompatible device

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