Back to Journals » International Journal of Nanomedicine » Volume 10 » Issue 1

Molecular photoacoustic imaging of breast cancer using an actively targeted conjugated polymer

Authors Balasundaram G, Ho CJH, Li K, Driessen W, Dinish US, Wong CL, Ntziachristos V, Liu B, Olivo M

Received 31 August 2014

Accepted for publication 27 September 2014

Published 8 January 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 387—397


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Thomas J Webster

Supplementary video depicting the strong photoacoustic signal at the tumor site 3 hours after folate-conjugated polymer dots injection in MCF-7 breast cancer xenograft model.

Views: 532

Ghayathri Balasundaram,1,* Chris Jun Hui Ho,1,* Kai Li,2 Wouter Driessen,3 US Dinish,1 Chi Lok Wong,1 Vasilis Ntziachristos,3 Bin Liu,2 Malini Olivo1,4

1Bio-Optical Imaging Group, Singapore Bioimaging Consortium (SBIC), 2Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore; 3Institute of Biological and Medical Imaging, Helmholtz Center Munich, Neuherberg, Germany; 4School of Physics, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Conjugated polymers (CPs) are upcoming optical contrast agents in view of their unique optical properties and versatile synthetic chemistry. Biofunctionalization of these polymer-based nanoparticles enables molecular imaging of biological processes. In this work, we propose the concept of using a biofunctionalized CP for noninvasive photoacoustic (PA) molecular imaging of breast cancer. In particular, after verifying the PA activity of a CP nanoparticle (CP dots) in phantoms and the targeting efficacy of a folate-functionalized version of the same (folate-CP dots) in vitro, we systemically administered the probe into a folate receptor-positive (FR+ve) MCF-7 breast cancer xenograft model to demonstrate the possible application of folate-CP dots for imaging FR+ve breast cancers in comparison to CP dots with no folate moieties. We observed a strong PA signal at the tumor site of folate-CP dots-administered mice as early as 1 hour after administration as a result of the active targeting of the folate-CP dots to the FR+ve tumor cells but a weak PA signal at the tumor site of CP-dots-administered mice as a result of the passive accumulation of the probe by enhanced permeability and retention effect. We also observed that folate-CP dots produced ~4-fold enhancement in the PA signal in the tumor, when compared to CP dots. These observations demonstrate the great potential of this active-targeting CP to be used as a contrast agent for molecular PA diagnostic imaging in various biomedical applications.

Keywords: photoacoustic tomography, conjugated polymers, molecular imaging, breast cancer

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]


Readers of this article also read:

Endophthalmitis: state of the art

Vaziri K, Schwartz SG, Kishor K, Flynn HW Jr

Clinical Ophthalmology 2015, 9:95-108

Published Date: 8 January 2015

Green synthesis of water-soluble nontoxic polymeric nanocomposites containing silver nanoparticles

Prozorova GF, Pozdnyakov AS, Kuznetsova NP, Korzhova SA, Emel’yanov AI, Ermakova TG, Fadeeva TV, Sosedova LM

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2014, 9:1883-1889

Published Date: 16 April 2014

Methacrylic-based nanogels for the pH-sensitive delivery of 5-Fluorouracil in the colon

Ashwanikumar N, Kumar NA, Nair SA, Kumar GS

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:5769-5779

Published Date: 15 November 2012

A novel preparation method for silicone oil nanoemulsions and its application for coating hair with silicone

Hu Z, Liao M, Chen Y, Cai Y, Meng L, Liu Y, Lv N, Liu Z, Yuan W

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:5719-5724

Published Date: 12 November 2012

Cross-linked acrylic hydrogel for the controlled delivery of hydrophobic drugs in cancer therapy

Deepa G, Thulasidasan AK, Anto RJ, Pillai JJ, Kumar GS

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:4077-4088

Published Date: 27 July 2012

Crystallization after intravitreal ganciclovir injection

Pitipol Choopong, Nattaporn Tesavibul, Nattawut Rodanant

Clinical Ophthalmology 2010, 4:709-711

Published Date: 14 July 2010