Surveillance nanotechnology for multi-organ cancer metastases

Harini Kantamneni, Margot Zevon, Michael J. Donzanti, Xinyu Zhao, Yang Sheng, Shravani R. Barkund, Lucas H. McCabe, Whitney Banach-Petrosky, Laura M. Higgins, Shridar Ganesan, Richard Riman, Charles Roth, Mei Chee Tan, Mark Pierce, Vidya Ganapathy, Prabhas Moghe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


The identification and molecular profiling of early metastases remains a major challenge in cancer diagnostics and therapy. Most in vivo imaging methods fail to detect small cancerous lesions, a problem that is compounded by the distinct physical and biological barriers associated with different metastatic niches. Here, we show that intravenously injected rare-earth-doped albumin-encapsulated nanoparticles emitting short-wave infrared light (SWIR) can detect targeted metastatic lesions in vivo, allowing for the longitudinal tracking of multi-organ metastases. In a murine model of human breast cancer, the nanoprobes enabled whole-body SWIR detection of adrenal-gland microlesions and bone lesions that were undetectable via contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging as early as three and five weeks post-inoculation, respectively. Whole-body SWIR imaging of nanoprobes functionalized to differentially target distinct metastatic sites and administered to a biomimetic murine model of human breast cancer resolved multi-organ metastases that showed varied molecular profiles in the lungs, adrenal glands and bones. Real-time surveillance of lesions in multiple organs should facilitate pre- and post-therapy monitoring in preclinical settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)993-1003
Number of pages11
JournalNature biomedical engineering
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Computer Science Applications

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  • Cite this

    Kantamneni, H., Zevon, M., Donzanti, M. J., Zhao, X., Sheng, Y., Barkund, S. R., McCabe, L. H., Banach-Petrosky, W., Higgins, L. M., Ganesan, S., Riman, R., Roth, C., Tan, M. C., Pierce, M., Ganapathy, V., & Moghe, P. (2017). Surveillance nanotechnology for multi-organ cancer metastases. Nature biomedical engineering, 1(12), 993-1003.