Multiphoton Deep-Tissue Imaging of Micrometastases and Disseminated Cancer Cells Using Conjugates of Quantum Dots and Single-Domain Antibodies.
Early detection of malignant tumors, micrometastases, and disseminated tumor cells is one of the effective way of fighting cancer. Among the many existing imaging methods like computed tomography (CT), ultrasound (US), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), optical imaging with fluorescent probes is one of the most promising alternatives because it is fast, inexpensive, safe, sensitive, and specific. However, traditional fluorescent probes, based on organic fluorescent dyes, suffer from the low signal-to-noise ratio. Furthermore, conventional organic fluorescent dyes are unsuitable for deep tissue imaging because of the strong visible light absorption by biological tissues. The use of fluorescent semiconductor nanocrystals, or quantum dots (QDs), may overcome this limitation due to their large multiphoton cross section, which ensures efficient imaging of thick tissue sections inaccessible with conventional fluorescent probes. Moreover, the lower photobleaching and higher brightness of fluorescence signals from QDs ensures a much better discrimination of positive signals from the background. The use of fluorescent nanoprobes based on QDs conjugated to uniformly oriented high-affinity single-domain antibodies (sdAbs) may significantly increase the sensitivity and specificity due to better recognition of analytes and deeper penetration into tissues due to small size of such nanoprobes.Here, we describe a protocol for the fabrication of nanoprobes based on sdAbs and QDs, preparation of experimental xenograft mouse models for quality control, and multiphoton imaging of deep-tissue solid tumors, micrometastases, and disseminated tumor cells.Lire l‘article