Theranostics 2012; 2(7):705-713. doi:10.7150/thno.3456

Research Paper

Bioconjugated Pluronic Triblock-Copolymer Micelle-Encapsulated Quantum Dots for Targeted Imaging of Cancer: In Vitro and In Vivo Studies

Liwei Liu1,2 ✉, Ken-Tye Yong3 ✉, Indrajit Roy4, Wing-Cheung Law2, Ling Ye5, Jianwei Liu5, Jing Liu5, Rajiv Kumar2, Xihe Zhang1, Paras N. Prasad1,2

1. School of Science, Changchun University of Science and Technology, Changchun 130022, Jilin, China.
2. Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics (ILPB), The State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY14260, United States.
3. School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 639798, Singapore.
4. Department of Chemistry, University of Delhi, Delhi, 110007, India.
5. Institute of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100853, China.

Abstract

Early in this study, CdTe/ZnS core/shell quantum dots (QDs) were encapsulated in carboxylated Pluronic F127 triblock polymeric micelle, to preserve the optical and colloidal stability of QDs in biological fluids. Folic acid (FA) was then conjugated to the surface of QDs for the targeted delivery of the QD formulation to the tumor site, by exploiting the overexpressed FA receptors (FARs) on the tumor cells. Cytotoxicity study demonstrated that the QD formulation has negligible in vitro toxicity. The in vitro study showed that the bioconjugated micelle-encapsulated QDs, but not the unconjugated QDs, were able to efficiently label Panc-1 cancer cells. In vivo imaging study showed that bioconjugated QDs were able to target tumor site after intravenous injection of the formulation in tumor-bearing mice.

Keywords: Quantum dots, Targeted delivery, Bioimaging, Bioconjugation, Pluronics and Nanotoxicity.

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How to cite this article:
Liu L, Yong KT, Roy I, Law WC, Ye L, Liu J, Liu J, Kumar R, Zhang X, Prasad PN. Bioconjugated Pluronic Triblock-Copolymer Micelle-Encapsulated Quantum Dots for Targeted Imaging of Cancer: In Vitro and In Vivo Studies. Theranostics 2012; 2(7):705-713. doi:10.7150/thno.3456. Available from http://www.thno.org/v02p0705.htm