In vitro study of the interaction of heregulin-functionalized magnetic–optical nanorods with MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 cells
Multifunctional nanoparticles that actively target specific cells are promising tools for cancer diagnosis and therapy. In this article we review the synthesis and surface chemistry of Fe–Au nanorods and their characterization using microscopy. The diameter of the rods used in this study was selected to be 150–200 nm so that they did not enter the cells. The 80 nm-long Au tips of the nanorods were functionalized with heregulin (HRG), and the micron-long Fe portion was coated with a poly(ethylene glycol) monolayer to minimize non-specific interactions. Nanorods functionalized with HRG were found to preferentially bind to MCF7 cells that express high levels of the receptor tyrosine-protein kinase ErbB2/3. Magnetic tweezers measurements were used to characterize the kinetic properties of the bond between the HRG on the rods and ErbB2/3 on the surface of the cells. The strong magnetization of Fe–Au nanorods makes them excellent candidates for in-vitro and in-vivo imaging, and magnetic therapeutic applications targeting cancer cells in circulation.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Physical Chemistry of Functionalised Biomedical Nanoparticles