Theranostics 2017; 7(4):899-911. doi:10.7150/thno.17927

Research Paper

Incorporating gold nanoclusters and target-directed liposomes as a synergistic amplified colorimetric sensor for HER2-positive breast cancer cell detection

Yu Tao1, Mingqiang Li2, Bumjun Kim1, Debra T. Auguste1, 3✉

1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, The City College of New York, 160 Convent Avenue, New York, NY 10031, United States;
2. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, United States;
3. Department of Chemical Engineering, Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, United States.

Abstract

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality in women. Successful development of sensitive nanoprobes for breast cancer cell detection is of great importance for breast cancer diagnosis and symptomatic treatment. Herein, inspired by the intrinsic peroxidase property of gold nanoclusters, high loading, and targeting ability of ErbB2/Her2 antibody functionalized liposomes, we report that gold nanoclusters-loaded, target-directed, functionalized liposomes can serve as a robust sensing platform for amplified colorimetric detection of HER2-positive breast cancer cells. This approach allows HER2-positive breast cancer cell identification at high sensitivity with high selectivity. In addition, the colorimetric “readout” offers extra advantages in terms of low-cost, portability, and easy-to-use applications. The practicality of this platform was further proved by successful detection of HER2-positive breast cancer cells in human serum samples and in breast cancer tissue, which indicated our proposed method has potential for application in cancer theranostics.

Keywords: Colorimetric sensor, signal amplification, liposomes, gold nanoclusters, artificial enzymes, breast cancer cells

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How to cite this article:
Tao Y, Li M, Kim B, Auguste DT. Incorporating gold nanoclusters and target-directed liposomes as a synergistic amplified colorimetric sensor for HER2-positive breast cancer cell detection. Theranostics 2017; 7(4):899-911. doi:10.7150/thno.17927. Available from http://www.thno.org/v07p0899.htm