Hybrid polymeric nanoprobes for folate receptor-targeted photoacoustic imaging in vivo
To construct biocompatible imaging nanoprobes and apply them to receptor-specific targeting of breast cancers is of great significance for precise diagnosis and personalized therapy serving nanomedicine. Herein, hybrid polymeric methylene blue-embedded nanoprobes (PBCA-MB@CS-FA) for folate receptor-targeted photoacoustic (PA) imaging have been successfully fabricated. Phantom imaging and in vitro cell experiments confirmed their apparent contrast enhancement and strong binding affinity. The administration into MDA-MB231 tumor-xenografted nude mice showed 10-fold higher intensity of PA signals compared to that of non-targeted control. These features make them promising PA nanoprobes for non-invasive molecular diagnosis, and more importantly for potential PA image-guided surgery/therapy against breast cancers in the early stage.