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Water-Solubilizing Hydrophobic ZnAgInSe/ZnS QDs with Tumor-Targeted cRGD-Sulfobetaine-PIMA-Histamine Ligands via a Self-Assembly Strategy for Bioimaging

Deng, Tao, Peng, Yanan, Zhang, Rong, Wang, Jie, Zhang, Jie, Gu, Yueqing, Huang, Dechun, Deng, Dawei
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2017 v.9 no.13 pp. 11405-11414
biocompatibility, coculture, fluorescence, hydrophobicity, image analysis, integrins, intravenous injection, ligands, nanocomposites, neoplasms, permeability, polymers, quantum dots, zinc sulfide
Exploring the organic-to-aqueous phase transfer of quantum dots (QDs) is significant for achieving their versatile applications in biomedical fields. In this thematic issue, surface modification, size control, and biocompatibility of QDs and QDs-based nanocomposites are core problems. Herein, the new highly fluorescent tumor-targeted QDs-clusters consisting of ZnAgInSe/ZnS (ZAISe/ZnS) QDs and sulfobetaine-PIMA-histamine (SPH) polymer with the ανβ₃ integrin receptor cyclic RGD (c-RGD) were developed via ligand exchange and an accompanying self-assembly process. It was found that the structure of RGD-SPH QDs-clusters was propitious to reduce the capture of reticulo-endothelial system (RES) in virtue of external stealth ligands, and benefit to selectively accumulate at the tumor site after intravenous injection via active tumor targeting cooperated with the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect. In the meantime, those clusters also recognized and enriched the cell surface when cocultured with the ανβ₃ integrin receptor overexpressed malignant cells (U87MG tumor). On the basis of the results, fabricating mutil-functional nanocomposites integrated with the long-term circulation and dual-targeting effects should be an interesting strategy for imaging cancer in vitro and in vivo.