Cell and Tissue Imaging with Molecularly Imprinted Polymers

  • Maria Panagiotopoulou
  • Stephanie Kunath
  • Karsten Haupt
  • Bernadette Tse Sum Bui
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1575)


Advanced tools for cell imaging are of particular interest as they can detect, localize and quantify molecular targets like abnormal glycosylation sites that are biomarkers of cancer and infection. Targeting these biomarkers is often challenging due to a lack of receptor materials. Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) are promising artificial receptors; they can be tailored to bind targets specifically, be labeled easily, and are physically and chemically stable. Herein, we demonstrate the application of MIPs as artificial antibodies for selective labeling and imaging of cellular targets, on the example of hyaluronan and sialylation moieties on fixated human skin cells and tissues. Thus, fluorescently labeled MIP nanoparticles templated with glucuronic acid (MIPGlcA) and N-acetylneuraminic acid (MIPNANA) are respectively applied. Two different fluorescent probes are used: (1) MIPGlcA particles, ~400 nm in size are labeled with the dye rhodamine that target the extracellular hyaluronan on cells and tissue specimens and (2) MIP-coated InP/ZnS quantum dots (QDs) of two different colors, ~125 nm in size that target the extracellular and intracellular hyaluronan and sialylation sites. Green and red emitting QDs are functionalized with MIPGlcA and MIPNANA respectively, enabling multiplexed cell imaging. This is a general approach that can also be adapted to other target molecules on and in cells.

Key words

Molecularly imprinted polymers MIPs Artificial antibodies Glucuronic acid Hyaluronic acid Sialylation Cell imaging Tissue imaging Quantum dots Multiplexed imaging 



The authors thank the European Regional Development Fund and the Regional Council of Picardie (co-funding of equipment under CPER 2007–2013), the European Union (FP7 Marie Curie Actions, ITN SAMOSS, PITN-2013–607590), and the french embassy in Germany (postdoctoral scholarship of S.K.), for financial support. The authors thank Jörg Sänger and the Institute of Pathology Bad Berka (Germany) for providing tissue samples and for tissue imaging.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Panagiotopoulou
    • 1
  • Stephanie Kunath
    • 1
  • Karsten Haupt
    • 1
  • Bernadette Tse Sum Bui
    • 1
  1. 1.CNRS Enzyme and Cell Engineering LaboratorySorbonne Universités, Université de Technologie de CompiègneCompiègne CedexFrance

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