Enhancing silicon quantum dot uptake by pancreatic cancer cells via pluronic® encapsulation and antibody targeting

Jasmine Louise May, Folarin Erogbogbo, Ken-Tye Yong, Hong Ding, Wing-Cheung Law, Mark T. Swihart, Paras N. Prasad


Objectives: Silicon quantum dots (SiQDs) are of great interest for bio-imaging applications due to their tunable luminescence, low toxicity, unique surface chemistry, and high quantum yield. Most synthesis routes produce SiQDs that are not water-dispersible, making them unattractive for biological applications. Here, we show that Pluronic® block copolymers can encapsulate SiQDs to make them water dispersible and suitable for cancer imaging applications.
Methods: Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), dynamic light scattering (DLS), zeta potential, and temperature and pH stability measurements were used to evaluate these Pluronic®-encapsulated SiQDs (PSiQDs). The particles were also tested targeted in vitro imaging and in vivo bio-distribution.

Results: Encapsulation with Pluronic® polymers renders the SiQDs water dispersible, preserves their optical properties, protects them from oxidation, and prevents aggregation. Surface modification of the PSiQDs with pancreatic cancer targeting moieties, anti-claudin-4 and anti-mesothelin, led to enhanced uptake of these nanoconstructs in comparison to PSiQDs modified with folate as the targeting moeity.

Conclusions: The particles are stable at biological conditions, and show promise for targeted diagnostic applications without possessing elementally toxic components.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jst.v2n3p24

Journal of Solid Tumors

ISSN 1925-4067(Print)   ISSN 1925-4075(Online)

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