Theranostics 2012; 2(9):889-904. doi:10.7150/thno.4754 This issue

Research Paper

Multifunctional Peptide-Conjugated Hybrid Silica Nanoparticles for Photodynamic Therapy and MRI

Hamanou Benachour1,2, Aymeric Sève3, Thierry Bastogne1,2,4, Céline Frochot3,5, Régis Vanderesse6,7, Jordane Jasniewski8, Imen Miladi9,10, Claire Billotey9,10,11, Olivier Tillement9,10, François Lux9,10, Muriel Barberi-Heyob1,2,5,12✉

1. Université de Lorraine, CRAN, UMR 7039, Campus Sciences, BP 70239, Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy Cedex, 54506, France
2. CNRS, CRAN, UMR 7039, France
3. CNRS, LRGP, UPR 3349, 1 rue Grandville, Nancy, 54000, France
4. Inria, BIGS, France
5. CNRS, GdR 3049 Photomed, France
6. Université de Lorraine, LCPM, UMR 7568, Nancy, 54000, France
7. CNRS, LCPM, UMR 7568, France
8. Université de Lorraine, LIBio, INPL-ENSAIA, 2, avenue de la forêt de Haye, Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy Cedex, 54516, France
9. Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, LPCML, UMR 5620, Villeurbanne Cedex, 69622, France
10. CNRS, LPCML, UMR 5620, France
11. Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, 69000, France
12. Centre Alexis Vautrin, CRLCC, avenue de Bourgogne, Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy Cedex, 54511, France

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
Benachour H, Sève A, Bastogne T, Frochot C, Vanderesse R, Jasniewski J, Miladi I, Billotey C, Tillement O, Lux F, Barberi-Heyob M. Multifunctional Peptide-Conjugated Hybrid Silica Nanoparticles for Photodynamic Therapy and MRI. Theranostics 2012; 2(9):889-904. doi:10.7150/thno.4754. Available from

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Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an emerging theranostic modality for various cancer as well as non-cancer diseases. Its efficiency is mainly based on a selective accumulation of PDT and imaging agents in tumor tissue. The vascular effect is widely accepted to play a major role in tumor eradication by PDT. To promote this vascular effect, we previously demonstrated the interest of using an active- targeting strategy targeting neuropilin-1 (NRP-1), mainly over-expressed by tumor angiogenic vessels. For an integrated vascular-targeted PDT with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of cancer, we developed multifunctional gadolinium-based nanoparticles consisting of a surface-localized tumor vasculature targeting NRP-1 peptide and polysiloxane nanoparticles with gadolinium chelated by DOTA derivatives on the surface and a chlorin as photosensitizer. The nanoparticles were surface-functionalized with hydrophilic DOTA chelates and also used as a scaffold for the targeting peptide grafting. In vitro investigations demonstrated the ability of multifunctional nanoparticles to preserve the photophysical properties of the encapsulated photosensitizer and to confer photosensitivity to MDA-MB-231 cancer cells related to photosensitizer concentration and light dose. Using binding test, we revealed the ability of peptide-functionalized nanoparticles to target NRP-1 recombinant protein. Importantly, after intravenous injection of the multifunctional nanoparticles in rats bearing intracranial U87 glioblastoma, a positive MRI contrast enhancement was specifically observed in tumor tissue. Real-time MRI analysis revealed the ability of the targeting peptide to confer specific intratumoral retention of the multifunctional nanoparticles.

Keywords: Targeted PDT, neuropilin-1, brain tumor, MRI, functionalized theranostic nanoparticles