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Posted: July 24, 2006
New nanomedicine approaches to in vivo and cell-based imaging
(Nanowerk News) Nanomaterials are revolutionizing biological imaging thanks to their unique nanoscale properties. The ability to tailor physical and chemical characteristics at the nanoscale makes it possible to create imaging probes that are brighter, longer-lasting and multifunctional. A new report illustrates the versatility and promise of nanoscale imaging agents.
Streptavidin is famous for its ability to bind to biotin with incredible strength, and the researchers used this property to their advantage by creating a tumor-cell labeling conjugate between biotin and an antibody that recognizes CD3, a protein on the surface of leukemia and other cells that many viruses use to gain entry to cells. Adding the biotin-antibody conjugate to the leukemia cells first, and then adding the quantum dot-labeled nanotubes, resulted in the leukemia cells taking up the labeled nanotubes in large numbers. Thanks to the attached quantum dots, the nanotubes were readily visible in the cells using a fluorescent microscope.
The researchers note that taking advantage of the CD3-mediated uptake mechanism boosts the number of nanoscale imaging constructs that make it into the cellís interior, reducing the concentration of nanotubes and quantum dots needed for intracellular imaging and any potential toxicities. The investigators found that this same mechanism may be useful for delivering drug-loaded nanotubes into tumor cells.