1. Translational Medicine Research Centre & Central Laboratory, Shanghai First Maternity and Infant Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200040, P.R. China.
2. Department of Thyroid and Breast Surgery, the Tenth People' s Hospital of Shanghai, Tongji University, Shanghai 200072, P. R. China
3. Medical Imaging Center, the Tenth People's Hospital of Shanghai, Tongji University, Shanghai 200072, P. R. China.
4. The Institute for Advanced Materials and Nano Biomedicine, Tongji University, Shanghai, 200092, P. R. China.
5. School of Electronic and Computing Systems, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio 45221, USA.
* These two authors contribute equally to this study.
Early detection and subsequent complete surgical resection are among the most efficient methods for treating cancer. However, low detection sensitivity and incomplete tumor resection are two challenging issues. Nanoparticle-based imaging-guided surgery has proven promising for cancer-targeted imaging and subsequent debulking surgery. Particularly, the use of near infrared (NIR) fluorescent probes such as NIR quantum dots (QDs) allows deep penetration and high sensitivity for tumor detection. In this study, NIR-emitting CdTe QDs (maximum fluorescence emission peak at 728 nm) were synthesized with a high quantum yield (QY) of 38%. The tumor-specific QD bioconjugates were obtained by attaching cyclic Arg-Gly-Asp peptide (cRGD) to the surface of synthesized QDs, and then injected into U87 MG tumor-bearing mice via tail veins for tumor-targeted imaging. The tumor and its margins were visualized and distinguished by NIR QD bioconjugates, and tumor resection was successfully accomplished via NIR guidance using a Fluobeam-700 NIR imaging system. Our work indicates that the synthesized tumor-specific NIR QDs hold great promise as a potential fluorescent indicator for intraoperative tumor imaging.
Keywords: Imaging-guided surgery, NIR quantum dots, cancer treatment, cancer-targeted imaging, RGD