iRGD peptide as effective transporter of CuInZnxS2 + x quantum dots into human cancer cells

Rok publikacji: 2016
Wydawca:  Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 2016, 146, 9–18
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In this paper, iRGD peptide-mediated quantum dots (QDs) delivery was studied. In the first step, dodecanethiol-capped CuInZnxS2 + x (ZCIS) QDs were prepared and subsequently transferred into water using a standard and facile ligand exchange approach involving 3-mercaptopropionic acid (MPA). ZCIS@MPA nanocrystals possess a photoluminescence quantum yield (PL QY) of 25%, a PL emission centered at ca. 640 nm and low distributions in size and shape. Next, the iRGD peptide was electrostatically associated to ZCIS@MPA QDs. After cytotoxicity evaluation, the tumor-targeting and penetrating activities of the iRGD/QD assembly were investigated by confocal microscopy. The experiments performed on various cancer cell lines revealed a high penetration ability of the assembly, while the bare QDs were not internalized. Additionally, imaging experiments were conducted on three-dimensional multicellular tumor spheroids in order to mimic the tumor microenvironment in vivo. iRGD/QD assemblies were found to be evenly distributed throughout the whole HeLa spheroid contrary to normal cells where they were not present. Therefore, iRGD/QD assemblies have a great potential to be used as targeted imaging agents and/or nanocarriers specific to cancer cells

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