JoVE Logo
Faculty Resource Center

Sign In





Representative Results






Analysis of Targeted Viral Protein Nanoparticles Delivered to HER2+ Tumors

Published: June 18th, 2013



1Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California, 2Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, 3Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles

This article details the procedures for optical imaging analysis of the tumor-targeted nanoparticle, HerDox. In particular, detailed use of the multimode imaging device for detecting tumor targeting and assessing tumor penetration is described here.

The HER2+ tumor-targeted nanoparticle, HerDox, exhibits tumor-preferential accumulation and tumor-growth ablation in an animal model of HER2+ cancer. HerDox is formed by non-covalent self-assembly of a tumor targeted cell penetration protein with the chemotherapy agent, doxorubicin, via a small nucleic acid linker. A combination of electrophilic, intercalation, and oligomerization interactions facilitate self-assembly into round 10-20 nm particles. HerDox exhibits stability in blood as well as in extended storage at different temperatures. Systemic delivery of HerDox in tumor-bearing mice results in tumor-cell death with no detectable adverse effects to non-tumor tissue, including the heart and liver (which undergo marked damage by untargeted doxorubicin). HER2 elevation facilitates targeting to cells expressing the human epidermal growth factor receptor, hence tumors displaying elevated HER2 levels exhibit greater accumulation of HerDox compared to cells expressing lower levels, both in vitro and in vivo. Fluorescence intensity imaging combined with in situ confocal and spectral analysis has allowed us to verify in vivo tumor targeting and tumor cell penetration of HerDox after systemic delivery. Here we detail our methods for assessing tumor targeting via multimode imaging after systemic delivery.

Tumor-targeting of chemotherapy has the potential to eliminate cancer cells at lower dose compared to untargeted drugs because more of the delivered therapy can accumulate at its intended destination rather than distribute to non-tumor tissue. As the latter situation would dilute out the efficacy of the drug and thus require higher doses to be effective, tumor-targeting has both therapeutic and safety advantages over standard non-targeted treatment.

Targeting chemotherapy by encapsulation in self-assembled nanoparticles allows the drug to remain chemically unmodified in contrast to drugs that are covalently linked to targeting molecules. A....

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

1. Systemic Delivery In vivo

  1. Mix enough HerDox with sterile saline to equate 0.2 ml of a 0.004 mg/kg dose of HerDox per injection for a 6-8 week old NU/NU mouse bearing subcutaneous bilateral flank xenograft tumors.
  2. Gently draw the HerDox mixture into a 3/10 cc insulin syringe fitted with a 29G needle, avoiding bubbles.
  3. Anesthesia is induced by brief isoflurane exposure in an induction chamber equipped with a gas scavenging system (Oxygen flow rates: 0.5-1 L/min, isoflurane concen.......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

Figure 1 shows the in vivo optical imager prototype, which was built for the purpose of image acquisition under multiple modalities, including fluorescence intensity, spectral, lifetime, 2-photon, intra-vital confocal, and bioluminescence imaging. In addition, the cooled high sensitive camera and high power laser lines incorporated in this system yields higher contrast fluorescence images compared to commercial optical imaging systems 11, especially for the in vivo detection .......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

Dox fluorescence can be detectable in vivo using the multimode imager when tumors are subcutaneous. However, the therapeutically effective dose of HerDox (0.004 mg/kg) is below the detection threshold after a single dose. In contrast, after 7 daily injections (1x/day for 7 days), the tumor accumulation and retention of the particle is sufficient to enable visualization of Dox fluorescence.

It is critical when working with Dox or any other fluorophore for in vivo imaging that.......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

This work was funded by grants to LKM-K from the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute (R01CA129822 and R01CA140995). Dr. Medina-Kauwe thanks C. Rey, M. M-Kauwe and D. Revetto for continued support.


Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

Name Company Catalog Number Comments
Name of the reagent Company Catalogue number Comments (optional)
Fluorescence laser scanning confocal microscope Leica SPE
In Vivo Optical Imager Spectral Molecular Imaging Multimode In Vivo Optical Imager
Doxorubicin-HCl Sigma-Aldrich D4035
Nude (NU/NU) mouse, female, 6-8 week Charles River Strain code 088
MDA-MB-435 human HER2+ tumor cells NCI-Frederick Cancer DCTD Tumor/Cell Line Repository 0507292
3/10 cc insulin syringe U-100 with 29G x 1/2" Ultra-FineIV permanently attached needle BD 309301
Delta T chamber Bioptechs 04200417B

  1. Agadjanian, H., Chu, D., et al. Chemotherapy Targeting by DNA Capture in Viral Protein Particles. Nanomedicine. 7 (3), 335-352 (2012).
  2. Agadjanian, H., Ma, J., et al. Tumor detection and elimination by a targeted gallium corrole. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 106 (15), 6105-6110 (2009).
  3. Agadjanian, H., Weaver, J. J., et al. Specific delivery of corroles to cells via noncovalent conjugates with viral proteins. Pharm. Res. 23 (2), 367-377 (2006).
  4. Medina-Kauwe, L. K., Maguire, M., et al. Non-viral gene delivery to human breast cancer cells by targeted Ad5 penton proteins. Gene Therapy. , 81753-81761 (2001).
  5. Medina-Kauwe, L. K., Kasahara, N., et al. 3PO, a novel non-viral gene delivery system using engineered Ad5 penton proteins. Gene Therapy. , 8795-8803 (2001).
  6. Rentsendorj, A., Xie, J., et al. Typical and atypical trafficking pathways of Ad5 penton base recombinant protein: implications for gene transfer. Gene Ther. 13 (10), 821-836 (2006).
  7. Hwang, J. Y., Park, J., et al. Multimodality Imaging In vivo for Preclinical Assessment of Tumor-Targeted Doxorubicin Nanoparticles. PLoS ONE. 7 (4), e34463 (2012).
  8. Hwang, J. Y., Wachsmann-Hogiu, S., et al. A Multimode Optical Imaging System for Preclinical Applications In Vivo: Technology Development, Multiscale Imaging, and Chemotherapy Assessment. Mol. Imaging Biol. , (2011).
  9. Hwang, J. Y., Gross, Z., et al. Ratiometric spectral imaging for fast tumor detection and chemotherapy monitoring in vivo. J. Biomed. Opt. 16 (6), 066007 (2011).
  10. Fujimoto, J. G., Farkas, D. L. . Biomedical Optical Imaging. , (2009).
  11. Hwang, J. Y., Moffatt-Blue, C., et al. Multimode optical imaging of small animals: development and applications. Proc. of SPIE. 6411, (2007).
  12. Ducros, M., Moreaux, L., et al. Spectral unmixing: analysis of performance in the olfactory bulb in vivo. PLoS One. 4 (2), e4418 (2009).
  13. Zimmermann, T. Spectral imaging and linear unmixing in light microscopy. Adv. Biochem. Eng. Biotechnol. , 95245-95265 (2005).

This article has been published

Video Coming Soon

JoVE Logo


Terms of Use





Copyright © 2024 MyJoVE Corporation. All rights reserved