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Clickable-Zwitterionic Copolymer Capped-Quantum Dots for in Vivo Fluorescence Tumor Imaging

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journal contribution
posted on 27.04.2018, 00:00 by Laura Trapiella-Alfonso, Thomas Pons, Nicolas Lequeux, Ludovic Leleu, Juliette Grimaldi, Mariana Tasso, Edward Oujagir, Johanne Seguin, Fanny d’Orlyé, Christian Girard, Bich-Thuy Doan, Anne Varenne
In the last decades, fluorescent quantum dots (QDs) have appeared as high-performance biological fluorescent nanoprobes and have been explored for a variety of biomedical optical imaging applications. However, many central challenges still exist concerning the control of the surface chemistry to ensure high biocompatibility, low toxicity, antifouling, and specific active targeting properties. Regarding in vivo applications, circulation time and clearance of the nanoprobe are also key parameters to control the design and characterization of new optical imaging agents. Herein, the complete design and characterization of a peptide-near-infrared-QD-based nanoprobe for biomedical optical imaging is presented from the synthesis of the QDs and the zwitterionic-azide copolymer ligand, enabling a bio-orthogonal coupling, till the final in vivo test through all the characterization steps. The developed nanoprobes show high fluorescence emission, controlled grafting rate, low toxicity, in vitro active specific targeting, and in vivo long circulating blood time. This is, to our knowledge, the first report characterizing the in vivo circulation kinetics and tumor accumulation of targeted zwitterionic QDs.