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MRI Probe for Cell-Targeted Imaging: Click-Functionalized Perfluorocarbon Nanoemulsions

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As the epidemic of cancer continues to grow, so have new treatment plans to incorporate the latest findings about tumors. We present the idea of a noninvasive method of examining cancer cell-profiles with 19F magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) molecular probes, perfluorocarbon nanoemulsions (PFC), to selectively label cancer-relevant immune cells. PFC nanoemulsions have exemplified their utility in tracking biodistribution of immunotherapies in ex vivo labeling. Herein, we propose a method of labeling selected immune cells in vivo by increasing cell affinity for the PFC tracer by coupling receptor-specific ligands. To perform this conjugation, we will functionalize the nanoemulsion surface by incorporating the strain-promoted [3+2] azide-alkyne cycloaddition (SPAAC) reagent, dibenzocyclooctyne (DBCO), in the surfactant layer to click with azide-modified ligands. We have examined the ability for SPAAC to occur and optimized conditions for targeting the tumor-associated macrophage phenotype (TAM) M2 with the ligand sulfated dextran (SD).

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This item is under embargo until August 10, 2023.