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Home > Press > Nanoparticles Provide Detailed View Inside Living Animals

Abstract:
Using nanoparticles designed specifically to produce a bright Raman spectroscopic signal, a team of investigators at the Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence Focused on Therapy Response (Stanford CCNE) has shown that it can produce whole-body images in small animals that can reveal the location of tumors and track how these nanoparticles traffic through the body. This work, the first to use surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to provide whole-body images in a living animal, was reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

Nanoparticles Provide Detailed View Inside Living Animals

Bethesda , MD | Posted on April 19th, 2008

Sanjiv Gambhir, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator of the Stanford CCNE, led the team of investigators that used either single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) or one of several commercially available silica-coated gold nanoparticles known as Nanoplex biotags, as SERS contrast agents. Each of the Nanoplex biotags produced a unique Raman signal. To detect either of these nanoparticles in animals, the investigators modified a standard Raman microscope to efficiently measure the Raman signal produced from deep inside living animals.

In one experiment, the investigators injected two different Nanoplex biotags into mice and were able to track both particles simultaneously as they moved through the animal. They subsequently repeated this experiment using four different biotags and again were able to track each of the particles based on their unique Raman signals. The researchers also showed that they could detect tumor-targeted SWCNTs at the sites of implanted tumors in live animals.

In a second paper, Dr. Gambhir and his Stanford CCNE colleagues showed that they could use intravital microscopy to study how targeted quantum dot nanoparticles bind to tumor blood vessels in living animals. In this study, published in the journal Nano Letters, the investigators show that the targeted quantum dots, which bind to the avb3 integrin on tumor blood vessels, are not taken up by the targeted tissue. In addition, the researchers were surprised to find that individual quantum dots were not binding to their target but rather that clumps or aggregates of quantum dots were required for binding to occur. The investigators confirmed these results in a number of model systems and are now trying to construct models to explain this surprising behavior.

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About National Cancer Institute
To help meet the goal of reducing the burden of cancer, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, is engaged in efforts to harness the power of nanotechnology to radically change the way we diagnose, treat and prevent cancer.

The NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer is a comprehensive, systematized initiative encompassing the public and private sectors, designed to accelerate the application of the best capabilities of nanotechnology to cancer.

Currently, scientists are limited in their ability to turn promising molecular discoveries into benefits for cancer patients. Nanotechnology can provide the technical power and tools that will enable those developing new diagnostics, therapeutics, and preventives to keep pace with today’s explosion in knowledge.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
National Cancer Institute
Office of Technology & Industrial Relations
ATTN: NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer
Building 31, Room 10A49
31 Center Drive , MSC 2580
Bethesda , MD 20892-2580

Copyright © National Cancer Institute

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Related Links

View paper - “Noninvasive molecular imaging of small living subjects using Raman spectroscopy,”

View abstract - “Real-time intravital imaging of RGD−quantum dot binding to luminal endothelium in mouse tumor neovasculature.”

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