Nanoparticles Targeting Prostate Cancer Cell Receptors

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Submitted by Eric Pridgen and Frank Alexis of the Langer Lab at the Koch Institute

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"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.