Scientists develop biomimetic nanoprobes to image brain tumors

(Nanowerk News) Glioma is the most malignant tumor of the central nervous system. The diagnosis and treatment of glioma face challenges due to the presence of blood brain barrier (BBB) and complex brain tumor microenvironment.
Researchers from the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology (SIAT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and National University of Singapore developed biomimetic nanoprobes for targeted imaging of brain tumors.
The study was published in Advanced Functional Materials ("Biomimetic Nanocomposites Cloaked with Bioorthogonally Labeled Glioblastoma Cell Membrane for Targeted Multimodal Imaging of Brain Tumors").
Schematic illustration of the design of functionalized nanocomposites for blood brain barrier penetration and navigation through brain tumor microenvironment
Schematic illustration of the design of functionalized nanocomposites for BBB penetration and navigation through brain tumor microenvironment. (Image: SIAT)
Researchers prepared biomimetic nanoprobes mainly by composing ferric oxide and fluorescent dye, and coated the surface of nanoprobes by bioorthogonally labeled brain tumor cell membrane for crossing the BBB and targeting brain tumor cells.
As a diffuse tumor, glioma normally could not be excised en-bloc with a large margin, which places stringent demands for selective localization and imaging of tumor margin at a microscopic level.
Researchers and surgeons used the fluorescence, photoacoustic and magnetic resonance imaging for tumor margin identification, as well as real-time image-guided resection.
Through cellular uptake and mice model experiments, the researchers found that the combination of brain tumor cell membrane-based biomimetic technology and peptide-based active-targeting features improved the efficacy of diagnosis of brain tumors greatly.
This study provides insights on theranostic targeting of brain tumor cells from the perspective of physiochemistry, and gives edging closer to a thorough understanding of brain tumor targeting mechanisms.
Source: Chinese Academy of Sciences
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