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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 243-247

Aptamer-conjugated magnetic nanoparticles as targeted magnetic resonance imaging contrast agent for breast cancer

1 Department of Medical Physics, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
2 Department of Chemistry, University of Isfahan, Isfahan 81746, Iran
3 Department of Clinical Biochemistry, School of Pharmacy and Isfahan Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Daryoush Shahbazi-Gahrouei
Professor of Medical Physics, Department of Medical Physics, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2228-7477.195093

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Early detection of breast cancer is the most effective way to improve the survival rate in women. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) offers high spatial resolution and good anatomic details, and its lower sensitivity can be improved by using targeted molecular imaging. In this study, AS1411 aptamer was conjugated to Fe3O4@Au nanoparticles for specific targeting of mouse mammary carcinoma (4T1) cells that overexpress nucleolin. In vitro cytotoxicity of aptamer-conjugated nanoparticles was assessed on 4T1 and HFFF-PI6 (control) cells. The ability of the synthesized nanoprobe to target specifically the nucleolin overexpressed cells was assessed with the MRI technique. Results show that the synthesized nanoprobe produced strongly darkened T2-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) images with 4T1 cells, whereas the MR images of HFFF-PI6 cells incubated with the nanoprobe are brighter, showing small changes compared to water. The results demonstrate that in a Fe concentration of 45 μg/mL, the nanoprobe reduced by 90% MR image intensity in 4T1 cells compared with the 27% reduction in HFFF-PI6 cells. Analysis of MR signal intensity showed statistically significant signal intensity difference between 4T1 and HFFF-PI6 cells treated with the nanoprobe. MRI experiments demonstrate the high potential of the synthesized nanoprobe as a specific MRI contrast agent for detection of nucleolin-expressing breast cancer cells.

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