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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2012 Aug;4(8):3880-7. doi: 10.1021/am301048m. Epub 2012 Aug 10.

Oral delivery of near-infrared quantum dot loaded micelles for noninvasive biomedical imaging.

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Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Korea National University of Transportation, Chungbuk 380-702, Republic of Korea.


The purpose of this study is to design, develop, and characterize an optical imaging agent for oral administration. The hydrophobic, nanosized (7 nm), near-infrared (NIR) quantum dots (QDs) have been loaded into deoxycholic acid (DOCA) conjugated low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) micelles. The QD-loaded LMWH-DOCA (Q-LHD) nanoparticles have been characterized by electrophoretic light scattering (ELS) and a transmission electron microscope (TEM) which shows the average particle size was 130-220 nm in diameter. The Q-LHD nanoparticles also show the excellent stability in different pH conditions, and the release profile demonstrates the slow release of QDs after 5 days of oral administration. Concfocal laser microscopic scanning images show that the Q-LHD nanoparticles penetrate the cell membrane and are located inside the cell membrane. The real time pharmacokinetics studies show the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination profile of Q-LHD nanoparticles, observed by the Kodak molecular imaging system (KMIS). This study has demonstrated that the orally administered Q-LHD nanoparticles are absorbed in the small intestine through the bile acid transporter and eliminated through the kidneys.

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