Magdalena Swierczewska†‡#, Ki Young Choi‡#, Edward L. Mertz§, Xinglu Huang‡, Fan Zhang‡, Lei Zhu‡∥, Hong Yeol Yoon⊥, Jae Hyung Park⊥, Ashwinkumar Bhirde‡, Seulki Lee*‡, and Xiaoyuan Chen*‡
† Department of Biomedical Engineering, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York 11794, United States
‡ Laboratory of Molecular Imaging and Nanomedicine (LOMIN), National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland 20892, United States
§ Section of Physical Biochemistry, Office of the Scientific Director, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, United States
∥ Center for Molecular Imaging and Translational Medicine, School of Public Health, Xiamen University, Xiamen, 361000, China
⊥ Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, Korea
# Author Contributions
These authors contributed equally to the work.
*Correspondence to : Seulki Lee and Xiaoyuan Chen
Despite their immense potential in biomedicine, carbon nanomaterials suffer from inefficient dispersion and biological activity in vivo. Here we utilize a single, yet multifunctional, hyaluronic acid-based biosurfactant to simultaneously disperse nanocarbons and target single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) to CD44 receptor positive tumor cells with prompt uptake. Cellular uptake was monitored by intracellular enzyme-activated fluorescence, and localization of SWCNTs within cells was further confirmed by Raman mapping. In vivo photoacoustic, fluorescence, and positron emission tomography imaging of coated SWCNTs display high tumor targeting capability while providing long-term, fluorescence molecular imaging of targeted enzyme events. By utilizing a single biomaterial surfactant for SWCNT dispersion without additional bioconjugation, we designed a facile technique that brings nanocarbons closer to their biomedical potential.
Keywords: Carbon nanomaterials; one-step functionalization; hyaluronic acid; nanotubes; molecular imaging