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Ultrasound molecular imaging of breast cancer in MCF-7 orthotopic mice using gold nanoshelled poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanocapsules: a novel dual-targeted ultrasound contrast agent

Authors Xu L, Du J, Wan CF, Zhang Y, Xie SW, Li HL, Yang H, Li FH

Received 13 October 2017

Accepted for publication 15 January 2018

Published 21 March 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 1791—1807

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S153993

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Govarthanan Muthusamy

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Lei Yang


Li Xu,1,* Jing Du,1,* Caifeng Wan,1 Yu Zhang,1 Shaowei Xie,1 Hongli Li,1 Hong Yang,2 Fenghua Li1

1Department of Ultrasound, Renji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China; 2Department of Chemistry, College of Life and Environmental Science, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: The development of nanoscale molecularly targeted ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs) with high affinity and specificity is critical for ultrasound molecular imaging in the early detection of breast cancer.
Purpose: To prospectively evaluate ultrasound molecular imaging with dual-targeted gold nanoshelled poly(lactide-co-glycolic acid) nanocapsules carrying vascular endothelial growth factor receptor type 2 (VEGFR2) and p53 antibodies (DNCs) in MCF-7 orthotopic mice model.
Methods: DNCs were fabricated with an inner PLGA and outer gold nanoshell spherical structure. Its targeting capabilities were evaluated by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and flow cytometry (FCM) in vitro. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging (CEUS) with DNCs was evaluated qualitatively and quantitatively in vitro and in MCF-7 orthotopic mice model by two different systems. The biodistribution of NCs in mice was preliminary investigated. Differences were calculated by using analysis of variance.
Results: DNCs showed a well-defined spherical morphology with an average diameter of 276.90±110.50 nm. In vitro, DNCs exhibited high target specificities (79.01±5.63% vs. 2.11±1.07%, P<0.01; 75.54±6.58% vs. 5.21±3.12%, P<0.01) in VEGFR2- and p53-positive cells compared with control cells. In vivo, CEUS displayed a significantly higher video intensity in two systems using DNCs in comparison with non-targeted PLGA@Au NCs and single-targeted NCs. Biodistribution studies revealed that more DNCs in breast cancer tissue could be detected in mice than in other NCs (P<0.05).
Conclusion: DNCs were demonstrated to be novel dual-targeted UCAs and may have potential applications in early non-invasive visualization of breast cancer.

Keywords: ultrasound molecular imaging, targeted ultrasound contrast agent, poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid); antibody, breast cancer

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