Highly Specific, NIR Fluorescent Contrast Agent with Emission Controlled by Gold Nanoparticle
Nanoparticles are currently being intensively studied for in vivo molecular imaging because of their unique and beneficial properties. Among these particles, some metal particles possess strong surface plasmon fields that can effectively alter fluorescence. Using this fluorescence alteration, an NIR fluorophore based, nanosized contrast agent for breast cancer diagnosis is being developed. The fluorophore is conjugated to gold nanoparticles (GNP) viaa short spacer whose lengthwas specially adjusted to have the strong plasmon field to quench the fluorescence. The spacer also has a special molecular sequence that can be cleaved by an enzyme secreted by targeted cancer cells. Normally, the entity does not fluoresce. If it is delivered to the cancer site, the short spacer would be cleaved by the enzyme secreted by the cancer cell at which point the fluorescence would be restored. This entity can incorporate a cancer targeting molecule for a cancer specific delivery. The entity specifically targets cancer cells and fluoresce only when the spacer is cleaved by a specific cancer secreting biomolecule, providing dual specificity for cancer diagnosis. In the future, this entity will be combined with cancer drugs for seamless detection and personalized therapy.
KeywordsContrast Agent Cancer Site Short Spacer High Resolution Mass Spectrometry Target Cancer Cell
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