Submitted by Eric Pridgen and Frank Alexis of the Langer Lab at the Koch Institute
"The subjects of the image are prostate cancer cells that express the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) receptor. Nanoparticles, labeled with a green dye, have been surface-modified with an antibody fragment that targets the nanoparticles to the PSMA receptor on the cell surface. The larger goal of this research was to develop a nanoparticle delivery system able to treat prostate cancer. The nanoparticles were engineered to target PSMA, which is overexpressed by prostate cancer cells. The nanoparticles would be loaded with a chemotherapeutic agent to kill the cancer cells once they were internalized by the cells. This image shows that the nanoparticles were able to target PSMA-positive prostate cancer cells, which was the first step in the project.