Peptide-functionalized ZCIS QDs as fluorescent nanoprobe for targeted HER2-positive breast cancer cells imaging

Publish Year: 2016
Publisher:  Acta Biomaterialia, 2016, 35, 293–304
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M. Michalska, A. Florczak, H. Dams-Kozłowska, J. Gapiński, S. Jurga, R Schneider
In this paper, the synthesis of alloyed CuInZnxS2+x quantum dots (ZCIS QDs), their transfer into aqueous solution via a polymer coating technique, and the use of these nanocrystals to selectively target HER2-positive cells, are reported. By optimizing first the ZnS shell deposition process onto the CuInS2 core, and next the encapsulation of the dots with the amphiphilic poly(maleic anhydride-alt-1-octadecene) (PMAO) polymer, water-dispersible ZCIS QDs were successfully prepared. The nanocrystals with a photoluminescence quantum yield of 35% were purified via centrifugation and ultracentrifugation and high quality nanoparticles with narrow size distributions and surface charges were obtained. After verifying the biocompatibility of PMO-coated ZCIS QDs, we coupled these nanocrystals with the LTVSPWY peptide and demonstrated via MTT assay that both bare and the peptide-linked QDs exhibit low cytotoxicity. The HER2-mediated delivery of the peptide-linked QDs was confirmed by confocal microscopy. This study indicates that as engineered QDs can efficiently be used as fluorescent nanoprobes for selective labelling of HER2-positive SKBR3 cancer cells

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