In vivo angiogenesis imaging of solid tumors by αvβ 3-targeted, dual-modality micellar nanoprobes

Chase W. Kessinger, Chalermchai Khemtong, Osamu Togao, Masaya Takahashi, Baran D. Sumer, Jinming Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to develop and evaluate an αvβ3-specific nanoprobe consisting of fluorescent superparamagnetic polymeric micelles (FSPPM) for in vivo imaging of tumor angiogenesis. Spherical micelles were produced using poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(D,L-lactide) co-polymers conjugated with tetramethylrhodamine, a fluorescent dye, and loaded with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles. The resulting micelle diameter was 50-70 nm by dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy measurements. Micelles were encoded with an αvβ3-specific peptide, cyclic RGDfK, and optimized for maximum fluorescence and targeting in αvβ 3-overexpressing cells in vitro. In mice, cRGD-FSPPM-treated animals showed αvβ3-specific FSPPM accumulation in human lung cancer subcutaneous tumor xenografts. Together with the histological validation, the three-dimensional gradient echo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data provide high spatial resolution mapping and quantification of angiogenic vasculature in an animal tumor model using targeted, ultrasensitive MRI nanoprobes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)957-965
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Cancer molecular imaging
  • Fluorescent polymeric micelles
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Superparamagnetic iron oxide
  • αβ integrin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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