Hyaluronic acid-ceramide (HACE)-based nanoprobes for magnetic resonance (MR) and optical imaging were developed for cancer diagnosis. Diethylenetriaminepentaacetic dianhydride (DTPA) was conjugated to HACE for the chelation of gadolinium (Gd) as an MR contrast agent. Cy5.5 was also conjugated to the HACE backbone as a near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging dye. The self-assembled HACE-based nanoprobe, Cy5.5-HACE-DTPA-Gd, exhibited a uniformly distributed particle size and morphological shape. The HACE-based nanoprobe did not induce serious cytotoxicity in U87-MG (low expression of CD44 receptor) and SCC7 (high expression of CD44 receptor) cells. The cellular uptake efficiency of the HACE-based nanoprobe was higher in SCC7 cells than in U87-MG cells, indicating an HA-CD44 receptor interaction. In vitro MR signal enhancement of the HACE-based nanoprobe was confirmed compared with a commercial formulation (Magnevist). Moreover, in vivo MR contrast enhancement of the HACE-based nanoprobe in the tumor region was verified in an SCC7 tumor xenograft mouse model. The tumor targetability of the developed nanoprobe was monitored by an NIRF imaging study, and improved accumulation of the nanoprobe in the tumor region was observed. Therefore, this HACE-based dual-imaging nanoprobe can be used to make a more accurate diagnosis of cancer based on its passive and active tumor targeting strategies.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MEST) (No. 2011‐0030635 ).
- Dual modality
- Hyaluronic acid-ceramide
- Tumor targeting