Functional Single-Chain Polymer Nanoparticles: Targeting and Imaging Pancreatic Tumors in Vivo

Ana B. Benito, Miren K. Aiertza, Marco Marradi, Larraitz Gil-Iceta, Talia Shekhter Zahavi, Boguslaw Szczupak, María Jiménez-González, Torsten Reese, Eugenio Scanziani, Lorena Passoni, Michela Matteoli, Marcella De Maglie, Arie Orenstein, Mor Oron-Herman, Gennady Kostenich, Ludmila Buzhansky, Ehud Gazit, Hans Jurgen Grande, Vanessa Gómez-Vallejo, Jordi LlopIraida Loinaz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The development of tools for the early diagnosis of pancreatic adenocarcinoma is an urgent need in order to increase treatment success rate and reduce patient mortality. Here, we present a modular nanosystem platform integrating soft nanoparticles with a targeting peptide and an active imaging agent for diagnostics. Biocompatible single-chain polymer nanoparticles (SCPNs) based on poly(methacrylic acid) were prepared and functionalized with the somatostatin analogue PTR86 as the targeting moiety, since somatostatin receptors are overexpressed in pancreatic cancer. The gamma emitter 67Ga was incorporated by chelation and allowed in vivo investigation of the pharmacokinetic properties of the nanoparticles using single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT). The resulting engineered nanosystem was tested in a xenograph mouse model of human pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Imaging results demonstrate that accumulation of targeted SCPNs in the tumor is higher than that observed for nontargeted nanoparticles due to improved retention in this tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3213-3221
Number of pages9
Issue number10
StatePublished - 10 Oct 2016


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