BACKGROUND: Nanotechnology-based bioassays that detect the presence and/or absence of a combination of cell markers are increasingly used to identify stem or progenitor cells, assess cell heterogeneity, and evaluate tumor malignancy and/or chemoresistance. Delivery methods that enable nanoparticles to rapidly detect emerging, intracellular markers within cell clusters of biopsies will greatly aid in tumor characterization, analysis of functional state and development of treatment regimens.
RESULTS: Experiments utilized the Sendai virus to achieve in vitro, cytosolic delivery of Quantum dots in cells cultured from Human brain tumors. Using fluorescence microscopy and Transmission Electron Microscopy, in vitro experiments illustrated that these virus-based liposomes decreased the amount of non-specifically endocytosed nanoparticles by 50% in the Human glioblastoma and medulloblastoma samples studied. Significantly, virus-based liposome delivery also facilitated targeted binding of Quantum dots to cytosolic Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor within cultured cells, focal to the early detection and characterization of malignant brain tumors.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings are the first to utilize the Sendai virus to achieve cytosolic, targeted intracellular binding of Qdots within Human brain tumor cells. The results are significant to the continued applicability of nanoparticles used for the molecular labeling of cancer cells to determine tumor heterogeneity, grade, and chemotherapeutic resistivity.