Multiphoton imaging of tumor biomarkers with conjugates of single-domain antibodies and quantum dots

Hilal Hafian, Alyona Sukhanova, Marc Turini, Patrick Chames, Daniel Baty, Michel Pluot, Jacques H M Cohen, Igor Nabiev, Jean-Marc Millot
Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine 2014, 10 (8): 1701-9

UNLABELLED: An ideal multiphoton fluorescent nanoprobe should combine a nanocrystal with the largest possible two-photon absorption cross section (TPACS) and the smallest highly specific recognition molecules bound in an oriented manner. CdSe/ZnS quantum dots (QDs) conjugated to 13-kDa single-domain antibodies (sdAbs) derived from camelid IgG or streptavidin have been used as efficient two-photon excitation (TPE) probes for carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) imaging on normal human appendix and colon carcinoma tissue. The TPACS for some conjugates was higher than 49,000 GM (Goeppert-Mayer units), considerably exceeding that of organic dyes being close to the theoretical value of 50,000 GM calculated for CdSe QDs. The ratio of sdAb-QD emission to the autofluorescence for 800 nm TPE was 40 times higher than that for 457.9 nm one-photon excitation. TPE ensures a clear discrimination of CEA-overexpressing tumor areas from normal tissue. Oriented sdAb-QD conjugates are bright specific labels for detecting low concentrations of antigens using multiphoton microscopy.

FROM THE CLINICAL EDITOR: This study demonstrates carcinoembryonic antigen imaging on normal human appendix and colon carcinoma tissue utilizing CdSe/ZnS quantum dots conjugated to streptavidin or to 13-kDa single-domain antibodies as efficient two-photon excitation probes.

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