Gold silver alloy nanoparticles (GSAN): an imaging probe for breast cancer screening with dual-energy mammography or computed tomography.
ABSTRACT: Earlier detection of breast cancer reduces mortality from this disease. As a result, the development of better screening techniques is a topic of intense interest. Contrast-enhanced dual-energy mammography (DEM) is a novel technique that has improved sensitivity for cancer detection. However, the development of contrast agents for this technique is in its infancy. We herein report gold-silver alloy nanoparticles (GSAN) that have potent DEM contrast properties and improved biocompatibility. GSAN formulations containing a range of gold?:?silver ratios and capped with m-PEG were synthesized and characterized using various analytical methods. DEM and computed tomography (CT) phantom imaging showed that GSAN produced robust contrast that was comparable to silver alone. Cell viability, reactive oxygen species generation and DNA damage results revealed that the formulations with 30% or higher gold content are cytocompatible to Hep G2 and J774A.1 cells. In vivo imaging was performed in mice with and without breast tumors. The results showed that GSAN produce strong DEM and CT contrast and accumulated in tumors. Furthermore, both in vivo imaging and ex vivo analysis indicated the excretion of GSAN via both urine and feces. In summary, GSAN produce strong DEM and CT contrast, and has potential for both blood pool imaging and for breast cancer screening.
Project description:Conventional X-ray mammography has low diagnostic sensitivity for women with dense breasts. As a result, alternative contrast-enhanced screening tools such as dual energy mammography (DEM), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging are being used or investigated for these women. However, currently available contrast agents are non-ideal, have safety issues, and each imaging technique requires a different contrast agent. We therefore sought to develop a multimodal contrast agent that is functional for each breast imaging modality to simplify the diagnosis process and address the issues of existing contrast agents. Herein, we present a novel "all-in-one" nanoparticle (AION) multimodal imaging probe that has potent DEM, CT, MRI, and NIRF contrast properties and improved biocompatibility. AION were formed by co-encapsulation of a near-infrared fluorophore (DiR), silver sulfide nanoparticles (Ag2S-NP), and iron oxide nanoparticles (IO-NP) in PEGylated micelles. AION showed negligible cytotoxicity, which was in agreement with its minimal silver ion release profiles. AION generated strong contrast with all imaging modalities as demonstrated in phantom imaging. AION allowed in vivo tumor imaging as evidenced by the increase in contrast after injection. This study indicates the potential of AION as an effective multimodal contrast agent for breast cancer diagnosis with a range of imaging methods.
Project description:To investigate cyclo (Arg-Gly-Asp-D-Phe-Lys) peptide (RGD)-modified PEGylated dendrimer-entrapped gold nanoparticles (PEGylated Au DENPs-RGD) for targeted computed tomography (CT) imaging of breast carcinomas.PEGylated Au DENPs-RGD were synthesized and characterized. Then, the PEGylated Au DENPs-RGD for targeted CT imaging were investigated using the MDA-MB-435 cell line, an integrin-rich breast carcinoma cells, and mice with MDA-MB-435 xenograft tumors. Finally, silver enhancement staining and integrin ?v?3 immunohistochemistry of the tumors were performed.The synthesized PEGylated Au DENPs-RGD were spherical, water dispersible and biocompatible nanoprobes with a gold nanoparticle core size of 2.8 nm. Due to the presence of the Au nanoparticles, the PEGylated Au DENPs-RGD displayed a higher x-ray attenuation intensity than Omnipaque at the same Au or I concentrations. The conjugated RGD ligand can specifically identify and target overexpressed integrin receptors on MDA-MB-435 cells. After intravenous injection, these nanoprobes accumulated in the targeted area of mice with MDA-MB-435 xenograft tumors, which enabled the tumor to be detected by CT imaging. The histological results confirmed the imaging results.The PEGylated Au DENPs-RGD can be used as targeted nanoprobes with good biocompatibility for targeted CT imaging and diagnosis of integrin-positive tumors.
Project description:We report a new use of dendrimer-entrapped gold nanoparticles (Au DENPs) modified by polyethylene glycol (PEG) with good biocompatibility for in vitro and in vivo imaging of atherosclerotic mice by computed tomography (CT). In this study, Au DENPs were synthesized using poly(amidoamine) (PAMAM) dendrimers of generation 5 (G5.NH2) modified by PEG monomethyl ether (G5.NH2-mPEG20) as templates. In vitro cytotoxicity and flow cytometry assays show that the formed PEGylated Au DENPs have good biocompatibility and are non-cytotoxic at the Au concentration up to 300 ?M. Silver staining and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) further confirm that the Au DENPs are able to be uptaken by macrophages and are located dominantly in the lysosomes of the cells. Importantly, the formed PEGylated Au DENPs are able to be used for CT imaging of murine macrophages in vitro and macrophages in atherosclerotic mice in vivo using apolipoprotein-E-gene-deficient mice as a model. These findings suggest that the formed PEGylated Au DENPs are a promising contrast agent for CT imaging of atherosclerosis.
Project description:PURPOSE:To provide additional functional information for tumor characterization, we investigated the use of dual-energy computed tomography for imaging murine lung tumors. Tumor blood volume and vascular permeability were quantified using gold and iodine nanoparticles. This approach was compared with a single contrast agent/single-energy CT method. Ex vivo validation studies were performed to demonstrate the accuracy of in vivo contrast agent quantification by CT. METHODS:Primary lung tumors were generated in LSL-Kras(G12D); p53(FL/FL) mice. Gold nanoparticles were injected, followed by iodine nanoparticles two days later. The gold accumulated in tumors, while the iodine provided intravascular contrast. Three dual-energy CT scans were performed-two for the single contrast agent method and one for the dual contrast agent method. Gold and iodine concentrations in each scan were calculated using a dual-energy decomposition. For each method, the tumor fractional blood volume was calculated based on iodine concentration, and tumor vascular permeability was estimated based on accumulated gold concentration. For validation, the CT-derived measurements were compared with histology and inductively-coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy measurements of gold concentrations in tissues. RESULTS:Dual-energy CT enabled in vivo separation of gold and iodine contrast agents and showed uptake of gold nanoparticles in the spleen, liver, and tumors. The tumor fractional blood volume measurements determined from the two imaging methods were in agreement, and a high correlation (R(2)?= 0.81) was found between measured fractional blood volume and histology-derived microvascular density. Vascular permeability measurements obtained from the two imaging methods agreed well with ex vivo measurements. CONCLUSIONS:Dual-energy CT using two types of nanoparticles is equivalent to the single nanoparticle method, but allows for measurement of fractional blood volume and permeability with a single scan. As confirmed by ex vivo methods, CT-derived nanoparticle concentrations are accurate. This method could play an important role in lung tumor characterization by CT.
Project description:Development of dual-mode or multi-mode imaging contrast agents is important for accurate and self-confirmatory diagnosis of cancer. We report a new multifunctional, dendrimer-based gold nanoparticle (AuNP) as a dual-modality contrast agent for magnetic resonance (MR)/computed tomography (CT) imaging of breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. In this study, amine-terminated generation 5 poly(amidoamine) dendrimers modified with gadolinium chelate (DOTA-NHS) and polyethylene glycol monomethyl ether were used as templates to synthesize AuNPs, followed by Gd(III) chelation and acetylation of the remaining dendrimer terminal amine groups; multifunctional dendrimer-entrapped AuNPs (Gd-Au DENPs) were formed. The formed Gd-Au DENPs were used for both in vitro and in vivo MR/CT imaging of human MCF-7 cancer cells. Both MR and CT images demonstrate that MCF-7 cells and the xenograft tumor model can be effectively imaged. The Gd-Au DENPs uptake, mainly in the cell cytoplasm, was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy. The cell cytotoxicity assay, cell morphology observation, and flow cytometry show that the developed Gd-Au DENPs have good biocompatibility in the given concentration range. Our results clearly suggest that the synthetic Gd-Au DENPs are amenable for dual-modality MR/CT imaging of breast cancer cells.
Project description:The purpose of the present study was to demonstrate an in vitro proof of principle that spectral photon-counting CT can measure gold-labelled specific antibodies targeted to specific cancer cells. A crossover study was performed with Raji lymphoma cancer cells and HER2-positive SKBR3 breast cancer cells using a MARS spectral CT scanner. Raji cells were incubated with monoclonal antibody-labelled gold, rituximab (specific antibody to Raji cells), and trastuzumab (as a control); HER2-positive SKBR3 breast cancer cells were incubated with monoclonal antibody-labelled gold, trastuzumab (specific antibody to HER2-positive cancer cells), and rituximab (as a control). The calibration vials with multiple concentrations of nonfunctionalised gold nanoparticles were used to calibrate spectral CT. Spectral imaging results showed that the Raji cells-rituximab-gold and HER2-positive cells-trastuzumab-gold had a quantifiable amount of gold, 5.97?mg and 0.78?mg, respectively. In contrast, both cell lines incubated with control antibody-labelled gold nanoparticles had less gold attached (1.22?mg and 0.15?mg, respectively). These results demonstrate the proof of principle that spectral molecular CT imaging can identify and quantify specific monoclonal antibody-labelled gold nanoparticles taken up by Raji cells and HER2-positive SKBR3 breast cancer cells. The present study reports the future potential of spectral molecular imaging in detecting tumour heterogeneity so that treatment can be tuned accordingly, leading to more effective personalised medicine.
Project description:To address the escalating problem of antimicrobial resistance and the dwindling antimicrobial pipeline, we have developed a library of novel aerosolizable silver-based antimicrobials, particularly for the treatment of pulmonary infections. To rapidly screen this library and identify promising candidates, we have devised a novel in vitro metric, named the "drug efficacy metric" (DEM), which integrates both the antibacterial activity and the on-target, host cell cytotoxicity. DEMs calculated using an on-target human bronchial epithelial cell-line correlates well (R2?>?0.99) with in vivo efficacy, as measured by median survival hours in a Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia mouse model following aerosolized antimicrobial treatment. In contrast, DEMs derived using off-target primary human dermal fibroblasts correlate poorly (R2?=?0.0595), which confirms our hypothesis. SCC1 and SCC22 have been identified as promising drug candidates through these studies, and SCC22 demonstrates a dose-dependent survival advantage compared to sham treatment. Finally, silver-bearing biodegradable nanoparticles were predicted to exhibit excellent in vivo efficacy based on its in vitro DEM value, which was confirmed in our mouse pneumonia model. Thus, the DEM successfully predicted the efficacy of various silver-based antimicrobials, and may serve as an excellent tool for the rapid screening of potential antimicrobial candidates without the need for extensive animal experimentation.
Project description:Bone tissue engineering is a rapidly growing field which is currently progressing toward clinical applications. Effective imaging methods for longitudinal studies are critical to evaluating the new bone formation and the fate of the scaffolds. Computed tomography (CT) is a prevailing technique employed to investigate hard tissue scaffolds; however, the CT signal becomes weak in mainly-water containing materials, which hinders the use of CT for hydrogels-based materials. Nevertheless, hydrogels such as gelatin methacrylate (GelMA) are widely used for tissue regeneration due to their optimal biological properties and their ability to induce extracellular matrix formation. To date, gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have been suggested as promising contrast agents, due to their high X-ray attenuation, biocompatibility, and low toxicity. In this study, the effects of different sizes and concentrations of AuNPs on the mechanical properties and the cytocompatibility of the bulk GelMA-AuNPs scaffolds were evaluated. Furthermore, the enhancement of CT contrast with the cytocompatible size and concentration of AuNPs were investigated. 3D printed GelMA and GelMA-AuNPs scaffolds were obtained and assessed for the osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). Lastly, 3D printed GelMA and GelMA-AuNPs scaffolds were scanned in a bone defect utilizing µCT as the proof of concept that the GelMA-AuNPs are good candidates for bone tissue engineering with enhanced visibility for µCT imaging.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Targeted contrast nanoparticles for breast tumor imaging facilitates early detection and improves treatment efficacy of breast cancer. This manuscript reports the development of an epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER-2) specific, bi-modal, dendrimer conjugate to enhance computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of HER-2-positive breast cancer. This material employs generation 5 poly(amidoamine) dendrimers, encapsulated gold nanoparticles, chelated gadolinium, and anti-human HER-2 antibody to produce the nanoparticle contrast agent. RESULTS:Testing in two mouse tumor models confirms this contrast agent's ability to image HER-2 positive tumors. Intravenous injection of this nanoparticle in mice bearing HER-2 positive mammary tumors significantly enhances MRI signal intensity by?~?20% and improves CT resolution and contrast by two-fold. Results by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy validate the specific targeting of the conjugate and its internalization in human HER-2 positive cells. CONCLUSION:These results demonstrate that this nanoparticle conjugate can efficiently target and image HER-2 positive tumors in vivo and provide a basis for the development of this diagnostic tool for early detection, metastatic assessment and therapeutic monitoring of HER-2 positive cancers.
Project description:In vivo cell tracking is vital for understanding migrating cell populations, particularly cancer and immune cells. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging for long-term tracking of transplanted cells in live organisms requires cells to effectively internalize Gd(III) contrast agents (CAs). Clinical Gd(III)-based CAs require high dosing concentrations and extended incubation times for cellular internalization. To combat this, we have devised a series of Gd(III)-gold nanoconjugates (Gd@AuNPs) with varied chelate structure and nanoparticle-chelate linker length, with the goal of labeling and imaging breast cancer cells. These new Gd@AuNPs demonstrate significantly enhanced labeling compared to previous Gd(III)-gold-DNA nanoconstructs. Variations in Gd(III) loading, surface packing, and cell uptake were observed among four different Gd@AuNP formulations suggesting that linker length and surface charge play an important role in cell labeling. The best performing Gd@AuNPs afforded 23.6 ± 3.6 fmol of Gd(III) per cell at an incubation concentration of 27.5 ?M-this efficiency of Gd(III) payload delivery (Gd(III)/cell normalized to dose) exceeds that of previous Gd(III)-Au conjugates and most other Gd(III)-nanoparticle formulations. Further, Gd@AuNPs were well-tolerated in vivo in terms of biodistribution and clearance, and supports future cell tracking applications in whole-animal models.