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Tuesday, 25 August, 2009

Drug Nanocarriers Labeled With Near-infraredemitting Quantum Dots (Quantoplexes): Imaging Fast Dynamics of Distribution in Living Animals

A. Zintchenko, A. S. Susha, M. Concia, J. Feldmann, E. Wagner, A. L. Rogach, M. Ogris -
Molecular Therapy, doi:10.1038/mt.2009.201 (2009)

The knowledge of the biodistribution of macromolecular drug formulations is a key to their successful development for specific tissue- and tumor-targeting after systemic application. Based on the polyplex formulations, we introduce novel drug nanocarriers, which we denote as "quantoplexes" incorporating near-infrared (IR)-emitting cadmium telluride (CdTe) quantum dots (QDs), polyethylenimine (PEI), and a macromolecular model drug [plasmid DNA (pDNA)], and demonstrate the ability of tracking these bioactive compounds in living animals. Intravenous application of bare QD into nude mice leads to rapid accumulation in the liver and peripheral regions resembling lymph nodes, followed by clearance via the liver within hours to days. Quantoplexes rapidly accumulate in the lung, liver, and spleen and the fluorescent signal is detectable for at least a week. Tracking quantoplexes immediately after intravenous injection shows rapid redistribution from the lung to the liver within 5 minutes, depending on the PEI topology and quantoplex formulation used. With polyethyleneglycol (PEG)-modified quantoplexes, blood circulation and passive tumor accumulation was measured in real time. The use of quantoplexes will strongly accelerate the development of tissue and tumor-targeted macromolecular drug carriers.


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