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Molecular Imaging with Quantum Dots Probing EMT and Prostate Cancer Metastasis in Live Animals

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Despite the development of various animal and tissue culture models for the study of human prostate cancer growth and metastasis there is no non-invasive model that provides real-time information on the behavior of prostate cancer cells in the prostate or at distant sites. The goal of this application is to devise a highly sensitive and specific nanotechnology- based molecular imaging technique to detect prostate cancer growth locally and at distant sites and observe the interaction between prostate cancer cells and their local microenvironment during their acquisition of migratory invasive and metastatic capabilities. This technique was made possible by a close collaboration between GhungZhau who have extensive experience in the development of human prostate cancer metastatic models and Nie a biomedical engineer who devised an ultrasensitive and specific nanotechnology quantum dot QD bioconjugate that can image cancer cells in live animals at a sensitivity close to the single cell level. This collaborative interaction between GhungZhauNie could significantly improve our ability to diagnose prognose and treat human prostate cancer first in experimental models and later in the clinic. We have proposed three highly interactive aims that allow the PIs and trainees to interact during the development of this highly innovative technology. Aim I is to synthesize and test QD conjugates for the molecular imaging of prostate cancer cells in culture and to improve the quality of the QDs so they will emit light at the near-infrared range for potential detection of cancer cells located in deep tissues. Aim 2 is to develop a highly reproducible and metastatic human prostate cancer model using immunocompromised mice.

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  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

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