Near-infrared fluorescent aza-BODIPY dye-loaded biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles for optical cancer imaging
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Nanoparticles are being readily investigated as carriers for the delivery of imaging and therapeutic agents for the detection, monitoring, and treatment of cancer and other diseases. In the present work, the preparation of biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles loaded with a near-infrared fluorescent aza-boron dipyrromethene (NIR-BODIPY) derivative, and their use as contrast agents for optical imaging in cancer are described. Nanoparticles were prepared by nanoprecipitation of amphiphilic block copolymers of poly(lactic acid) and poly(ethylene glycol). The size, morphology, dye loading, spectral properties, quantum yield, cytocompatibility, and in vitro NIR imaging potential of the nanoparticles in breast and ovarian cancer cells were evaluated. Spherical nanoparticles of 30–70 nm in diameter were loaded with 0.73 w/w% BODIPY derivative. At this loading, the dye presented a fluorescence quantum yield in the same order of magnitude as in solution. Nanoparticle suspensions at concentrations up to 580 μg/mL were cytocompatible to breast (MDA-MB-231) and ovarian (SKOV-3 and Caov-3) cancer cells after a four-hour incubation period. Fluorescence microscopy images demonstrated the ability of the nanoparticles to act as imaging agents in all three cell lines in as little as 1 hour. The results shown indicate the potential of these NIR-BODIPY-loaded nanoparticles as contrast agents for near-infrared optical imaging in cancer.
KeywordsNanomedicine Near-infrared fluorescence Optical imaging Block copolymers Biodegradable polymers Quantum yield
This research was supported in part by the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (startup funds for TB), the National Science Foundation Partnership in Research and Education in Materials (PREM, DMR-1205670), and the Robert A. Welch Foundation (AI-0045).
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Conflict of Interests
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests regarding publication of this paper.
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