Studies with tracking of single nanoparticles are providing new insights into the interactions and processes involved in the transport of drug carriers in living mice. Here, we report the tracking of a single particle quantum dot (Qdot) conjugated with tumor-targeting antibody in tumors of living mice using a dorsal skinfold chamber and a high-speed confocal microscope with a high-sensitivity camera. Qdot labeled with the monoclonal anti-HER2 antibody was injected into mice with HER2-overexpressing breast cancer to analyze the molecular processes of its mechanistic delivery to the tumor. Movement of single complexes of the Qdot-antibody could be clearly observed at 30 frames/s inside the tumor through a dorsal skinfold chamber. We successfully identified six processes of delivery: initially in the circulation within a blood vessel, during extravasation, in the extracellular region, binding to HER2 on the cell membrane, moving from the cell membrane to the perinuclear region, and in the perinuclear region. The six processes were quantitatively analyzed to understand the rate-limiting constraints on Qdot-antibody delivery. The movement of the complexes at each stage was "stop-and-go." The image analysis of the delivery processes of single particles in vivo provides valuable information on antibody-conjugated therapeutic nanoparticles, which will be useful in increasing therapeutic efficacy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research