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Imaging Pancreatic Cancer Using Bioconjugated InP Quantum Dots

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Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Buffalo, New York 14260-4200,
Department of Pathology and Oncology, The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center CRB-2, Suite 345, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1550 Orleans Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21231
* Address correspondence to [email protected], [email protected]
Cite this: ACS Nano 2009, 3, 3, 502–510
Publication Date (Web):February 25, 2009
Copyright © 2009 American Chemical Society

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    In this paper, we report the successful use of non-cadmium-based quantum dots (QDs) as highly efficient and nontoxic optical probes for imaging live pancreatic cancer cells. Indium phosphide (core)−zinc sulfide (shell), or InP/ZnS, QDs with high quality and bright luminescence were prepared by a hot colloidal synthesis method in nonaqueous media. The surfaces of these QDs were then functionalized with mercaptosuccinic acid to make them highly dispersible in aqueous media. Further bioconjugation with pancreatic cancer specific monoclonal antibodies, such as anticlaudin 4 and antiprostate stem cell antigen (anti-PSCA), to the functionalized InP/ZnS QDs, allowed specific in vitro targeting of pancreatic cancer cell lines (both immortalized and low passage ones). The receptor-mediated delivery of the bioconjugates was further confirmed by the observation of poor in vitro targeting in nonpancreatic cancer based cell lines which are negative for the claudin-4-receptor. These observations suggest the immense potential of InP/ZnS QDs as non-cadmium-based safe and efficient optical imaging nanoprobes in diagnostic imaging, particularly for early detection of cancer.

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