Multifunctional Gold Nanoparticles for Targeted Theranostics
The aim of this project is to develop target-specific multifunctional gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) for simultaneous delivery of radionuclides and gadolinium to cancer cells, and explore their radiosensitizing properties. In this context, we have developed AuNPs stabilized with a thiolated DOTA derivative and decorated with a bombesin (BBN) for specific targeting of the gastrin releasing peptide receptor, which is overexpressed in a variety of cancers. These AuNPs were simultaneously coordinated with Gd and 67Ga to study their multimodal imaging capabilities. The relaxivity properties measured for the Gd-containing AuNPs make them potential candidates for T1- and T2- MR imaging. Biodistribution studies in prostate cancer PC-3 xenografts, performed by gamma-counting measurements of 67Ga, showed that the multimodal AuNPs have a reasonable tumor uptake. Additionally, in vitro studies using prostate cancer cells demonstrated that these nanoparticles have radiosensitization capabilities. Altogether, these data corroborate its promising potential for targeted cancer theranostics.