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Gold nanostars for efficient in vitro and in vivo real-time SERS detection and drug delivery via plasmonic-tunable Raman/FTIR imaging

Tian, Furong, Conde, João, Bao, Chenchen, Chen, Yunsheng, Curtin, James, Cui, Daxiang
Biomaterials 2016 v.106 pp. 87-97
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, animal models, antineoplastic agents, biocompatibility, cell cycle, chronic diseases, drug therapy, gold, heart failure, image analysis, lung neoplasms, mice, monitoring, neoplasm cells, patients, toxicity, vibration
The application of plasmonic-enhanced Raman imaging of cancer cells and drug delivery is gaining momentum. Here, we propose a new theranostic strategy based on an efficient plasmonic-tunable Raman/Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy imaging, to simultaneously evaluate the anticancer drug scattering cellular imaging and the Raman scattering molecular vibration signals in living cells. This technique allows to monitoring the drug release throughout the cell cycle and in vivo biodistribution and biocompatibility with low dose drug therapy (200 μg/mL) and low toxicity effect. This system can directly track in real-time the delivery and release of an anticancer drug (mitoxantrone, MTX) from gold nanostars in single living cells and in mice (healthy and lung cancer mice models), revealing a strong accumulation in the heart of healthy mice 5 min after administration and infiltration in the tumor site of lung cancer mice 5 h after systemic injection. This in vivo SERS detection method holds a great promise for application in image-guided cancer chemotherapy or as a nonspecific anti-inflammatory therapy for patients with cardiovascular diseases or chronic heart failure.