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Nat Biomed Eng. 2017;1:993-1003. doi: 10.1038/s41551-017-0167-9. Epub 2017 Dec 12.

Surveillance nanotechnology for multi-organ cancer metastases.

Author information

1
Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ, USA.
2
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ, USA.
3
Engineering Product Development, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore, Singapore.
4
Department of Computer Science, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ, USA.
5
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.
6
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ, USA.
7
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ, USA. mp941@soe.rutgers.edu.
8
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ, USA. vg180@soe.rutgers.edu.
9
Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ, USA. moghe@rutgers.edu.
10
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ, USA. moghe@rutgers.edu.

Abstract

The identification and molecular profiling of early metastases remains a major challenge in cancer diagnostics and therapy. Most in vivo imaging methods fail to detect small cancerous lesions, a problem that is compounded by the distinct physical and biological barriers associated with different metastatic niches. Here, we show that intravenously injected rare-earth-doped albumin-encapsulated nanoparticles emitting short-wave infrared light (SWIR) can detect targeted metastatic lesions in vivo, allowing for the longitudinal tracking of multi-organ metastases. In a murine model of basal human breast cancer, the nanoprobes enabled whole-body SWIR detection of adrenal gland microlesions and bone lesions that were undetectable via contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (CE-MRI) as early as, respectively, three weeks and five weeks post-inoculation. Whole-body SWIR imaging of nanoprobes functionalized to differentially target distinct metastatic sites and administered to a biomimetic murine model of human breast cancer resolved multi-organ metastases that showed varied molecular profiles at the lungs, adrenal glands and bones. Real-time surveillance of lesions in multiple organs should facilitate pre-therapy and post-therapy monitoring in preclinical settings.

KEYWORDS:

cancer metastasis; nanotechnology; rare earths; shortwave infrared imaging

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