Ultra-small gadolinium oxide nanoparticles to image brain cancer cells in vivo with MRI

Authors

  • Luc Faucher,

    1. Axe Métabolisme, santé vasculaire et rénale, Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec, 10 rue de l'Espinay Québec, Canada G1L 3L5
    2. Centre de recherche sur les matériaux avancés and Department of Engineering Materials, Université Laval, Québec, Canada G1V 0A6
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  • Andrée-Anne Guay-Bégin,

    1. Axe Métabolisme, santé vasculaire et rénale, Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec, 10 rue de l'Espinay Québec, Canada G1L 3L5
    2. Centre de recherche sur les matériaux avancés and Department of Engineering Materials, Université Laval, Québec, Canada G1V 0A6
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  • Jean Lagueux,

    1. Axe Métabolisme, santé vasculaire et rénale, Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec, 10 rue de l'Espinay Québec, Canada G1L 3L5
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  • Marie-France Côté,

    1. Axe Cancer, Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec, 10 rue de l'Espinay, Québec, Canada G1L 3L5
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  • Éric Petitclerc,

    1. Hema-Quebec, Ingénierie cellulaire, 1070 av. des Sciences-de-la-vie, Québec, Canada G1V 53C
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  • Marc-André Fortin

    Corresponding author
    1. Axe Métabolisme, santé vasculaire et rénale, Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec, 10 rue de l'Espinay Québec, Canada G1L 3L5
    2. Centre de recherche sur les matériaux avancés and Department of Engineering Materials, Université Laval, Québec, Canada G1V 0A6
    • Department of Engineering Materials, Université Laval, Québec, Canada G1V 0A6
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Abstract

The majority of contrast agents used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is based on the rare-earth element gadolinium. Gadolinium-based nanoparticles could find promising applications in pre-clinical diagnostic procedures of certain types of cancer, such as glioblastoma multiforme. This is one of the most malignant, lethal and poorly accessible forms of cancer. Recent advances in colloidal nanocrystal synthesis have led to the development of ultra-small crystals of gadolinium oxide (US-Gd2O3, 2–3 nm diameter). As of today, this is the smallest and the densest of all Gd-containing nanoparticles. Cancer cells labeled with a sufficient quantity of this compound appear bright in T1-weighted MRI images. Here we demonstrate that US-Gd2O3 can be used to label GL-261 glioblastoma multiforme cells, followed by localization and visualization in vivo using MRI. Very high amounts of Gd are efficiently internalized and retained in cells, as confirmed with TEM and ICP-MS. Labeled cells were visualized in vivo at 1.5 T using the chicken embryo model. This is one more step toward the development of “positively contrasted” cell tracking procedures with MRI. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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