Tumor-homing multifunctional nanoparticles for cancer theragnosis: Simultaneous diagnosis, drug delivery, and therapeutic monitoring

Kwangmeyung Kim, Jong Ho Kim, Hyungkyu Park, Yoo Shin Kim, Kyeongsoon Park, Heayun Nam, Seulki Lee, Jae Hyung Park, Rang Woon Park, In San Kim, Kuiwon Choi, Sang Yoon Kim, Kinam Park, Ick Chan Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

322 Scopus citations


Theragnostic multifunctional nanoparticles hold great promise in simultaneous diagnosis of disease, targeted drug delivery with minimal toxicity, and monitoring of treatment. One of the current challenges in cancer treatment is enhancing the tumor-specific targeting of both imaging probes and anticancer agents. Herein, we report tumor-homing chitosan-based nanoparticles (CNPs) that simultaneously execute cancer diagnosis and therapy (cancer theragnosis). These CNPs are unique for their three distinctive characteristics, such as stability in serum, deformability, and rapid uptake by tumor cells. These properties are critical in increasing their tumor targeting specificity and reducing their nonspecific uptake by normal tissues. To develop these CNPs into novel theragnostic nanoparticles, we labeled them with Cy5.5, a near-infrared fluorescent (NIRF) dye, for imaging and also loaded them with paclitaxel (PTX-CNPs), an anticancer drug, for cancer treatment. Cy5.5 labeled PTX-CNPs exhibited significantly increased tumor-homing ability with low nonspecific uptake by other tissues in SCC7 tumor-bearing mice. Theragnostic nanoparticles, Cy5.5 labeled PTX-CNPs, are highly useful for simultaneous diagnosis of early-stage cancer and drug delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-227
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was financially supported by the Real-Time Molecular Imaging Project , F104AA01003-06A0101-00310 , the GRL Program of MEST, by a Korea Research Foundation Grant funded by the Korean Government (MOEHRD, Basic Research Promotion Fund) ( KRF-357-2007-1-D00130 ), by a grant to the Intramural Research Program of KIST (Theragnosis), by a grant of the Ministry of Health Welfare and Family Affairs ( A062254 ), and by the Advanced Medical Technology Cluster for Diagnosis and Prediction at Kyungpook National University, awarded by MOCIE.


  • Chitosan nanoparticle
  • Drug delivery
  • Non-invasive imaging
  • Paclitaxel
  • Theragnosis
  • Tumor homing


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