Nanoparticles Targeting Prostate Cancer Cell Receptors


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.