Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.425, No.4, 769-774, 2012
Bacteria-mediated in vivo delivery of quantum dots into solid tumor
Semiconductor nanocrystals, so-called quantum dots (QDs), promise potential application in bioimaging and diagnosis in vitro and in vivo owing to their high-quality photoluminescence and excellent photostability as well as size-tunable spectra. Here, we describe a biocompatible, comparatively safe bacteria-based system that can deliver QDs specifically into solid tumor of living animals. In our strategy, anaerobic bacterium Bifidobacterium bifidum (B. bifidum) that colonizes selectively in hypoxic regions of animal body was successfully used as a vehicle to load with QDs and transported into the deep tissue of solid tumors. The internalization of lipid-encapsuled QDs into B. bifidum was conveniently carried by electroporation. To improve the efficacy and specificity of tumor targeting, the QDs-carrying bacterium surface was further conjugated with folic acids (FAs) that can bind to the folic acid receptor overexpressed tumor cells. This new approach opens a pathway for delivering different types of functional cargos such as nanoparticles and drugs into solid tumor of live animals for imaging, diagnosis and therapy. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.