Honors & Awards

  • National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, IGERT, NSF (2003-2006)
  • NIH Post-doctoral Award -- Stanford Molecular Imaging Scholar, NIH (2006-2010)
  • Stanford Dean's Fellow, Stanford University (2007)
  • K99/R00 NIH Pathway to Independence Award, NCI (2011-2019)


Stanford Advisees


All Publications

  • Nanomaterials for In Vivo Imaging. Chemical reviews Smith, B. R., Gambhir, S. S. 2017; 117 (3): 901-986


    In vivo imaging, which enables us to peer deeply within living subjects, is producing tremendous opportunities both for clinical diagnostics and as a research tool. Contrast material is often required to clearly visualize the functional architecture of physiological structures. Recent advances in nanomaterials are becoming pivotal to generate the high-resolution, high-contrast images needed for accurate, precision diagnostics. Nanomaterials are playing major roles in imaging by delivering large imaging payloads, yielding improved sensitivity, multiplexing capacity, and modularity of design. Indeed, for several imaging modalities, nanomaterials are now not simply ancillary contrast entities, but are instead the original and sole source of image signal that make possible the modality's existence. We address the physicochemical makeup/design of nanomaterials through the lens of the physical properties that produce contrast signal for the cognate imaging modality-we stratify nanomaterials on the basis of their (i) magnetic, (ii) optical, (iii) acoustic, and/or (iv) nuclear properties. We evaluate them for their ability to provide relevant information under preclinical and clinical circumstances, their in vivo safety profiles (which are being incorporated into their chemical design), their modularity in being fused to create multimodal nanomaterials (spanning multiple different physical imaging modalities and therapeutic/theranostic capabilities), their key properties, and critically their likelihood to be clinically translated.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.chemrev.6b00073

    View details for PubMedID 28045253

  • Predictive Modeling of Drug Response in Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma PLOS ONE Frieboes, H. B., Smith, B. R., Wang, Z., Kotsuma, M., Ito, K., Day, A., Cahill, B., Flinders, C., Mumenthaler, S. M., Mallick, P., Simbawa, E., Al-Fhaid, A. S., Mahmoud, S. R., Gambhir, S. S., Cristini, V. 2015; 10 (6)


    We combine mathematical modeling with experiments in living mice to quantify the relative roles of intrinsic cellular vs. tissue-scale physiological contributors to chemotherapy drug resistance, which are difficult to understand solely through experimentation. Experiments in cell culture and in mice with drug-sensitive (E-myc/Arf-/-) and drug-resistant (E-myc/p53-/-) lymphoma cell lines were conducted to calibrate and validate a mechanistic mathematical model. Inputs to inform the model include tumor drug transport characteristics, such as blood volume fraction, average geometric mean blood vessel radius, drug diffusion penetration distance, and drug response in cell culture. Model results show that the drug response in mice, represented by the fraction of dead tumor volume, can be reliably predicted from these inputs. Hence, a proof-of-principle for predictive quantification of lymphoma drug therapy was established based on both cellular and tissue-scale physiological contributions. We further demonstrate that, if the in vitro cytotoxic response of a specific cancer cell line under chemotherapy is known, the model is then able to predict the treatment efficacy in vivo. Lastly, tissue blood volume fraction was determined to be the most sensitive model parameter and a primary contributor to drug resistance.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0129433

    View details for Web of Science ID 000355979500143

    View details for PubMedID 26061425

  • Selective uptake of single-walled carbon nanotubes by circulating monocytes for enhanced tumour delivery. Nature nanotechnology Smith, B. R., Ghosn, E. E., Rallapalli, H., Prescher, J. A., Larson, T., Herzenberg, L. A., Gambhir, S. S. 2014; 9 (6): 481-487


    In cancer imaging, nanoparticle biodistribution is typically visualized in living subjects using 'bulk' imaging modalities such as magnetic resonance imaging, computerized tomography and whole-body fluorescence. Accordingly, nanoparticle influx is observed only macroscopically, and the mechanisms by which they target cancer remain elusive. Nanoparticles are assumed to accumulate via several targeting mechanisms, particularly extravasation (leakage into tumour). Here, we show that, in addition to conventional nanoparticle-uptake mechanisms, single-walled carbon nanotubes are almost exclusively taken up by a single immune cell subset, Ly-6C(hi) monocytes (almost 100% uptake in Ly-6C(hi) monocytes, below 3% in all other circulating cells), and delivered to the tumour in mice. We also demonstrate that a targeting ligand (RGD) conjugated to nanotubes significantly enhances the number of single-walled carbon nanotube-loaded monocytes reaching the tumour (P < 0.001, day 7 post-injection). The remarkable selectivity of this tumour-targeting mechanism demonstrates an advanced immune-based delivery strategy for enhancing specific tumour delivery with substantial penetration.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nnano.2014.62

    View details for PubMedID 24727688

  • High-resolution, serial intravital microscopic imaging of nanoparticle delivery and targeting in a small animal tumor model NANO TODAY Smith, B. R., Zavaleta, C., Rosenberg, J., Tong, R., Ramunas, J., Liu, Z., Dai, H., Gambhir, S. S. 2013; 8 (2): 126-137
  • An Integrated Computational/Experimental Model of Lymphoma Growth PLOS COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY Frieboes, H. B., Smith, B. R., Chuang, Y., Ito, K., Roettgers, A. M., Gambhir, S. S., Cristini, V. 2013; 9 (3)


    Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is a disseminated, highly malignant cancer, with resistance to drug treatment based on molecular- and tissue-scale characteristics that are intricately linked. A critical element of molecular resistance has been traced to the loss of functionality in proteins such as the tumor suppressor p53. We investigate the tissue-scale physiologic effects of this loss by integrating in vivo and immunohistological data with computational modeling to study the spatiotemporal physical dynamics of lymphoma growth. We compare between drug-sensitive E?-myc Arf-/- and drug-resistant E?-myc p53-/- lymphoma cell tumors grown in live mice. Initial values for the model parameters are obtained in part by extracting values from the cellular-scale from whole-tumor histological staining of the tumor-infiltrated inguinal lymph node in vivo. We compare model-predicted tumor growth with that observed from intravital microscopy and macroscopic imaging in vivo, finding that the model is able to accurately predict lymphoma growth. A critical physical mechanism underlying drug-resistant phenotypes may be that the E?-myc p53-/- cells seem to pack more closely within the tumor than the E?-myc Arf-/- cells, thus possibly exacerbating diffusion gradients of oxygen, leading to cell quiescence and hence resistance to cell-cycle specific drugs. Tighter cell packing could also maintain steeper gradients of drug and lead to insufficient toxicity. The transport phenomena within the lymphoma may thus contribute in nontrivial, complex ways to the difference in drug sensitivity between E?-myc Arf-/- and E?-myc p53-/- tumors, beyond what might be solely expected from loss of functionality at the molecular scale. We conclude that computational modeling tightly integrated with experimental data gives insight into the dynamics of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and provides a platform to generate confirmable predictions of tumor growth.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003008

    View details for Web of Science ID 000316864200070

    View details for PubMedID 23555235

  • Unexpected Dissemination Patterns in Lymphoma Progression Revealed by Serial Imaging within a Murine Lymph Node CANCER RESEARCH Ito, K., Smith, B. R., Parashurama, N., Yoon, J., Song, S. Y., Miething, C., Mallick, P., Lowe, S., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 72 (23): 6111-6118


    Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a heterogeneous and highly disseminated disease, but the mechanisms of its growth and dissemination are not well understood. Using a mouse model of this disease, we used multimodal imaging, including intravital microscopy (IVM) combined with bioluminescence, as a powerful tool to better elucidate NHL progression. We injected enhanced green fluorescent protein and luciferase-expressing E?-Myc/Arf(-/-) (Cdkn2a(-/-)) mouse lymphoma cells (EL-Arf(-/-)) into C57BL/6NCrl mice intravenously. Long-term observation inside a peripheral lymph node was enabled by a novel lymph node internal window chamber technique that allows chronic, sequential lymph node imaging under in vivo physiologic conditions. Interestingly, during early stages of tumor progression we found that few if any lymphoma cells homed initially to the inguinal lymph node (ILN), despite clear evidence of lymphoma cells in the bone marrow and spleen. Unexpectedly, we detected a reproducible efflux of lymphoma cells from spleen and bone marrow, concomitant with a massive and synchronous influx of lymphoma cells into the ILN, several days after injection. We confirmed a coordinated efflux/influx of tumor cells by injecting EL-Arf(-/-) lymphoma cells directly into the spleen and observing a burst of lymphoma cells, validating that the burst originated in organs remote from the lymph nodes. Our findings argue that in NHL an efflux of tumor cells from one disease site to another, distant site in which they become established occurs in discrete bursts.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-12-2579

    View details for Web of Science ID 000311893100005

    View details for PubMedID 23033441

  • Remodeling of Endogenous Mammary Epithelium by Breast Cancer Stem Cells STEM CELLS Parashurama, N., Lobo, N. A., Ito, K., Mosley, A. R., Habte, F. G., Zabala, M., Smith, B. R., Lam, J., Weissman, I. L., Clarke, M. F., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 30 (10): 2114-2127


    Poorly regulated tissue remodeling results in increased breast cancer risk, yet how breast cancer stem cells (CSC) participate in remodeling is unknown. We performed in vivo imaging of changes in fluorescent, endogenous duct architecture as a metric for remodeling. First, we quantitatively imaged physiologic remodeling of primary branches of the developing and regenerating mammary tree. To assess CSC-specific remodeling events, we isolated CSC from MMTV-Wnt1 (mouse mammary tumor virus long-term repeat enhancer driving Wnt1 oncogene) breast tumors, a well studied model in which tissue remodeling affects tumorigenesis. We confirm that CSC drive tumorigenesis, suggesting a link between CSC and remodeling. We find that normal, regenerating, and developing gland maintain a specific branching pattern. In contrast, transplantation of CSC results in changes in the branching patterns of endogenous ducts while non-CSC do not. Specifically, in the presence of CSC, we identified an increased number of branches, branch points, ducts which have greater than 40 branches (5/33 for CSC and 0/39 for non-CSC), and histological evidence of increased branching. Moreover, we demonstrate that only CSC implants invade into surrounding stroma with structures similar to developing mammary ducts (nine for CSC and one for non-CSC). Overall, we demonstrate a novel approach for imaging physiologic and pathological remodeling. Furthermore, we identify unique, CSC-specific, remodeling events. Our data suggest that CSC interact with the microenvironment differently than non-CSC, and that this could eventually be a therapeutic approach for targeting CSC.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/stem.1205

    View details for Web of Science ID 000308928300005

    View details for PubMedID 22899386

  • Fluorescent Magnetic Nanoparticles for Magnetically Enhanced Cancer Imaging and Targeting in Living Subjects ACS NANO Fu, A., Wilson, R. J., Smith, B. R., Mullenix, J., Earhart, C., Akin, D., Guccione, S., Wang, S. X., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 6 (8): 6862-6869


    Early detection and targeted therapy are two major challenges in the battle against cancer. Novel imaging contrast agents and targeting approaches are greatly needed to improve the sensitivity and specificity of cancer theranostic agents. Here, we implemented a novel approach using a magnetic micromesh and biocompatible fluorescent magnetic nanoparticles (FMN) to magnetically enhance cancer targeting in living subjects. This approach enables magnetic targeting of systemically administered individual FMN, containing a single 8 nm superparamagnetic iron oxide core. Using a human glioblastoma mouse model, we show that nanoparticles can be magnetically retained in both the tumor neovasculature and surrounding tumor tissues. Magnetic accumulation of nanoparticles within the neovasculature was observable by fluorescence intravital microscopy in real time. Finally, we demonstrate that such magnetically enhanced cancer targeting augments the biological functions of molecules linked to the nanoparticle surface.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/nn301670a

    View details for Web of Science ID 000307988900039

    View details for PubMedID 22857784

  • Shape Matters: Intravital Microscopy Reveals Surprising Geometrical Dependence for Nanoparticles in Tumor Models of Extravasation NANO LETTERS Smith, B. R., Kempen, P., Bouley, D., Xu, A., Liu, Z., Melosh, N., Dai, H., Sinclair, R., Gambhir, S. S. 2012; 12 (7): 3369-3377


    Delivery is one of the most critical obstacles confronting nanoparticle use in cancer diagnosis and therapy. For most oncological applications, nanoparticles must extravasate in order to reach tumor cells and perform their designated task. However, little understanding exists regarding the effect of nanoparticle shape on extravasation. Herein we use real-time intravital microscopic imaging to meticulously examine how two different nanoparticles behave across three different murine tumor models. The study quantitatively demonstrates that high-aspect ratio single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) display extravasational behavior surprisingly different from, and counterintuitive to, spherical nanoparticles although the nanoparticles have similar surface coatings, area, and charge. This work quantitatively indicates that nanoscale extravasational competence is highly dependent on nanoparticle geometry and is heterogeneous.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/nl204175t

    View details for Web of Science ID 000306296200004

    View details for PubMedID 22650417

  • Non-destructive, serial in vivo imaging of a tissue-flap using a tissue adhesion barrier: applications for IVM imaging in the mammary fat pad and lymph node IntraVital Masakatsu Kotsuma, N. Parashurama, B.R. Smith, K. Ito, S.S. Gambhir 2012; 1 (1): 69-76
  • Correlative Microscopy of Tumor Vasculature Microscopy and Microanalysis P. Kempen, B.R. Smith, M. Kircher, S.S. Gambhir, R. Sinclair 2011; 17 (Supp S2): 360-361
  • Dynamic Visualization of RGD-Quantum Dot Binding to Tumor Neovasculature and Extravasation in Multiple Living Mouse Models Using Intravital Microscopy SMALL Smith, B. R., Cheng, Z., De, A., Rosenberg, J., Gambhir, S. S. 2010; 6 (20): 2222-2229

    View details for DOI 10.1002/smll.201001022

    View details for Web of Science ID 000283890500003

    View details for PubMedID 20862677

  • A Comparison Between Time Domain and Spectral Imaging Systems for Imaging Quantum Dots in Small Living Animals MOLECULAR IMAGING AND BIOLOGY de la Zerda, A., Bodapati, S., Teed, R., Schipper, M. L., Keren, S., Smith, B. R., Ng, J. S., Gambhir, S. S. 2010; 12 (5): 500-508


    We quantified the performance of time-domain imaging (TDI) and spectral imaging (SI) for fluorescence imaging of quantum dots (QDs) in three distinct imaging instruments: eXplore Optix (TDI, Advanced Research Technologies Inc.), Maestro (SI, CRi Inc.), and IVIS-Spectrum (SI, Caliper Life Sciences Inc.).The instruments were compared for their sensitivity in phantoms and living mice, multiplexing capabilities (ability to resolve the signal of one QD type in the presence of another), and the dependence of contrast and spatial resolution as a function of depth.In phantoms, eXplore Optix had an order of magnitude better sensitivity compared to the SI systems, detecting QD concentrations of ~40 pM in vitro. Maestro was the best instrument for multiplexing QDs. Reduction of contrast and resolution as a function of depth was smallest with eXplore Optix for depth of 2-6 mm, while other depths gave comparable results in all systems. Sensitivity experiments in living mice showed that the eXplore Optix and Maestro systems outperformed the IVIS-Spectrum.TDI was found to be an order of magnitude more sensitive than SI at the expense of speed and very limited multiplexing capabilities. For deep tissue QD imaging, TDI is most applicable for depths between 2 and 6 mm, as its contrast and resolution degrade the least at these depths.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-009-0290-4

    View details for Web of Science ID 000282273200006

    View details for PubMedID 20012220

  • Assessing delivery and quantifying efficacy of small interfering ribonucleic acid therapeutics in the skin using a dual-axis confocal microscope JOURNAL OF BIOMEDICAL OPTICS Ra, H., Gonzalez-Gonzalez, E., Smith, B. R., Gambhir, S. S., Kino, G. S., Solgaard, O., Kaspar, R. L., Contag, C. H. 2010; 15 (3)


    Transgenic reporter mice and advances in imaging instrumentation are enabling real-time visualization of cellular mechanisms in living subjects and accelerating the development of novel therapies. Innovative confocal microscope designs are improving their utility for microscopic imaging of fluorescent reporters in living animals. We develop dual-axis confocal (DAC) microscopes for such in vivo studies and create mouse models where fluorescent proteins are expressed in the skin for the purpose of advancing skin therapeutics and transdermal delivery tools. Three-dimensional image volumes, through the different skin compartments of the epidermis and dermis, can be acquired in several seconds with the DAC microscope in living mice, and are comparable to histologic analyses of reporter protein expression patterns in skin sections. Intravital imaging with the DAC microscope further enables visualization of green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter gene expression in the skin over time, and quantification of transdermal delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNA) and therapeutic efficacy. Visualization of transdermal delivery of nucleic acids will play an important role in the development of innovative strategies for treating skin pathologies.

    View details for DOI 10.1117/1.3432627

    View details for Web of Science ID 000280642900042

    View details for PubMedID 20615029

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2904026

  • Functional and Transcriptional Characterization of Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Endothelial Cells for Treatment of Myocardial Infarction PLOS ONE Li, Z., Wilson, K. D., Smith, B., Kraft, D. L., Jia, F., Huang, M., Xie, X., Robbins, R. C., Gambhir, S. S., Weissman, I. L., Wu, J. C. 2009; 4 (12)


    Differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into endothelial cells (hESC-ECs) has the potential to provide an unlimited source of cells for novel transplantation therapies of ischemic diseases by supporting angiogenesis and vasculogenesis. However, the endothelial differentiation efficiency of the conventional embryoid body (EB) method is low while the 2-dimensional method of co-culturing with mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) require animal product, both of which can limit the future clinical application of hESC-ECs. Moreover, to fully understand the beneficial effects of stem cell therapy, investigators must be able to track the functional biology and physiology of transplanted cells in living subjects over time.In this study, we developed an extracellular matrix (ECM) culture system for increasing endothelial differentiation and free from contaminating animal cells. We investigated the transcriptional changes that occur during endothelial differentiation of hESCs using whole genome microarray, and compared to human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). We also showed functional vascular formation by hESC-ECs in a mouse dorsal window model. Moreover, our study is the first so far to transplant hESC-ECs in a myocardial infarction model and monitor cell fate using molecular imaging methods.Taken together, we report a more efficient method for derivation of hESC-ECs that express appropriate patterns of endothelial genes, form functional vessels in vivo, and improve cardiac function. These studies suggest that hESC-ECs may provide a novel therapy for ischemic heart disease in the future.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0008443

    View details for Web of Science ID 000273180200002

    View details for PubMedID 20046878

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2795856

  • Multiplexed imaging of surface enhanced Raman scattering nanotags in living mice using noninvasive Raman spectroscopy PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Zavaleta, C. L., Smith, B. R., Walton, I., Doering, W., Davis, G., Shojaei, B., Natan, M. J., Gambhir, S. S. 2009; 106 (32): 13511-13516


    Raman spectroscopy is a newly developed, noninvasive preclinical imaging technique that offers picomolar sensitivity and multiplexing capabilities to the field of molecular imaging. In this study, we demonstrate the ability of Raman spectroscopy to separate the spectral fingerprints of up to 10 different types of surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) nanoparticles in a living mouse after s.c. injection. Based on these spectral results, we simultaneously injected the five most intense and spectrally unique SERS nanoparticles i.v. to image their natural accumulation in the liver. All five types of SERS nanoparticles were successfully identified and spectrally separated using our optimized noninvasive Raman imaging system. In addition, we were able to linearly correlate Raman signal with SERS concentration after injecting four spectrally unique SERS nanoparticles either s.c. (R(2) = 0.998) or i.v. (R(2) = 0.992). These results show great potential for multiplexed imaging in living subjects in cases in which several targeted SERS probes could offer better detection of multiple biomarkers associated with a specific disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0813327106

    View details for Web of Science ID 000268877300066

    View details for PubMedID 19666578

  • Nanoparticulate Iron Oxide Contrast Agents for Untargeted and Targeted Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging CURRENT NANOSCIENCE Nijdam, A. J., Nicholson, T. R., Shapiro, J. P., Smith, B. R., Heverhagen, J. T., Schmalbrock, P., Knopp, M. V., Kebbel, A., Wang, D., Lee, S. C. 2009; 5 (1): 88-102
  • Real-time visualization of RGD-quantum dot binding in tumor neovasculature using intravital microscopy in multiple living mouse models Conference on Colloidal Quantum Dots for Biomedical Applications IV Smith, B. R., Cheng, Z., De, A., Koh, A. L., Sinclair, R., Gambhir, S. S. SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING. 2009

    View details for DOI 10.1117/12.809578

    View details for Web of Science ID 000285710600021

  • Photoacoustic Molecular Imaging using Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes in Living Mice Conference on Photons Plus Ultrasound - Imaging and Sensing 2009 de la Zerda, A., Zavaleta, C., Keren, S., Vaithilingam, S., Bodapati, S., Teed, R., Liu, Z., Levi, J., Smith, B. R., Ma, T., Oralkan, O., Cheng, Z., Chen, X., Dai, H., Khuri-Yakub, B. T., Gambhir, S. S. SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING. 2009

    View details for DOI 10.1117/12.806497

    View details for Web of Science ID 000285714100066

  • Carbon nanotubes as photoacoustic molecular imaging agents in living mice NATURE NANOTECHNOLOGY de la Zerda, A., Zavaleta, C., Keren, S., Vaithilingam, S., Bodapati, S., Liu, Z., Levi, J., Smith, B. R., Ma, T., Oralkan, O., Cheng, Z., Chen, X., Dai, H., Khuri-Yakub, B. T., Gambhir, S. S. 2008; 3 (9): 557-562


    Photoacoustic imaging of living subjects offers higher spatial resolution and allows deeper tissues to be imaged compared with most optical imaging techniques. As many diseases do not exhibit a natural photoacoustic contrast, especially in their early stages, it is necessary to administer a photoacoustic contrast agent. A number of contrast agents for photoacoustic imaging have been suggested previously, but most were not shown to target a diseased site in living subjects. Here we show that single-walled carbon nanotubes conjugated with cyclic Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) peptides can be used as a contrast agent for photoacoustic imaging of tumours. Intravenous administration of these targeted nanotubes to mice bearing tumours showed eight times greater photoacoustic signal in the tumour than mice injected with non-targeted nanotubes. These results were verified ex vivo using Raman microscopy. Photoacoustic imaging of targeted single-walled carbon nanotubes may contribute to non-invasive cancer imaging and monitoring of nanotherapeutics in living subjects.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nnano.2008.231

    View details for Web of Science ID 000259013100014

    View details for PubMedID 18772918

  • Real-time intravital imaging of RGD-quantum dot binding to luminal endothelium in mouse tumor neovasculature NANO LETTERS Smith, B. R., Cheng, Z., De, A., Koh, A. L., Sinclair, R., Gambhir, S. S. 2008; 8 (9): 2599-2606


    Nanoscale materials have increasingly become subject to intense investigation for use in cancer diagnosis and therapy. However, there is a fundamental dearth in cellular-level understanding of how nanoparticles interact within the tumor environment in living subjects. Adopting quantum dots (qdots) for their excellent brightness, photostability, monodispersity, and fluorescent yield, we link arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) peptides to target qdots specifically to newly formed/forming blood vessels expressing alpha vbeta 3 integrins. Using this model nanoparticle system, we exploit intravital microscopy with subcellular ( approximately 0.5 microm) resolution to directly observe and record, for the first time, the binding of nanoparticle conjugates to tumor blood vessels in living subjects. This generalizable method enabled us to show that in this model qdots do not extravasate and, unexpectedly, that they only bind as aggregates rather than individually. This level of understanding is critical on the path toward ensuring regulatory approval of nanoparticles in humans for disease diagnostics and therapeutics. Equally vital, the work provides a platform by which to design and optimize molecularly targeted nanoparticles including quantum dots for applications in living subjects.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/nl80141f

    View details for Web of Science ID 000259140200001

    View details for PubMedID 18386933

  • Localization to atherosclerotic plaque and biodistribution of biochemically derivatized superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) contrast particles for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) BIOMEDICAL MICRODEVICES Smith, B. R., Heverhagen, J., Knopp, M., Schmalbrock, P., Shapiro, J., Shiomi, M., Moldovan, N. I., Ferrari, M., Lee, S. C. 2007; 9 (5): 719-727


    Annexin V recognizes apoptotic cells by specific molecular interaction with phosphatidyl serine, a lipid that is normally sequestered in the inner leaflet of the cell membrane, but is translocated to the outer leaflet in apoptotic cells, such as foam cells of atherosclerotic plaque. Annexin V could potentially deliver carried materials (such as superparamagnetic contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging) to sites containing apoptotic cells, such as high grade atherosclerotic lesions, so we administered biochemically-derivatized (annexin V) superparmagnetic iron oxide particles (SPIONs) parenterally to two related rabbit models of human atherosclerosis. We observe development of negative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast in atheromatous lesions and but not in healthy artery. Vascular targeting by annexin V SPIONs is atheroma-specific (i.e., does not occur in healthy control rabbits) and requires active annexin V decorating the SPION surface. Targeted SPIONs produce negative contrast at doses that are 2,000-fold lower than reported for non-specific atheroma uptake of untargeted superparamagnetic nanoparticles in plaque in the same animal model. Occlusive and mural plaques are differentiable. While most of the dose accumulates in liver, spleen, kidneys and bladder, annexin V SPIONs also partition rapidly and deeply into early apoptotic foamy macrophages in plaque. Contrast in plaque decays within 2 months, allowing MRI images to be replicated with a subsequent, identical dose of annexin V SPIONs. Thus, biologically targeted superparamagnetic contrast agents can contribute to non-invasive evaluation of cardiovascular lesions by simultaneously extracting morphological and biochemical data from them.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10544-007-9081-3

    View details for Web of Science ID 000248975100011

    View details for PubMedID 17562181

  • The molecular analysis of breast cancer utilizing targeted nanoparticle based ultrasound contrast agents TECHNOLOGY IN CANCER RESEARCH & TREATMENT Sakamoto, J. H., Smith, B. R., Xie, B., Rokhlin, S. I., Lee, S. C., Ferrari, M. 2005; 4 (6): 627-636


    This study was structured to challenge the hypothesis that nano-sized particulates could be molecularly targeted and bound to the prognostic and predictive HER-2/neu cell membrane receptor to elicit detectable changes in ultrasound response from human breast cancer cells. SKBR-3 human breast cancer cells were enlisted to test the efficacy of the particle conjugation strategy used in this study and ultimately, to provide conclusive remarks regarding the validity of the stated hypothesis. A characterization-mode ultrasound (CMUS) system was used to apply a continuum mechanics based, two-step inversion algorithm to reconstruct the mechanical material properties of four cell/agarose test conditions upon three independent test samples. The four test conditions include: Herceptin conjugated iron oxide nanoparticles bound to cells (HER-con), Herceptin bound to cells (HER), iso-type matched antibody conjugated iron oxide nanoparticles bound to cells (ISO-con), and Cold Flow Buffer mixed with agarose (CFB). The statistical analysis of these ultrasound results supported the ability to differentiate between HER-2/neu positive SKBR-3 cells that have been successfully tagged with Herceptin(R) conjugated iron oxide particles to those that have not demonstrated particle binding. These findings serve as promising proof-of-concept data for the development of a quantitative histopathologic evaluation tool directed towards both in situ and in vivo applications. The ultimate goal of this research is to exploit the molecular expression of the HER-2/neu protein to offer rapid, quantitative ultrasound information concerning the malignancy rating of human breast tissue employing tumor targeting nanoparticle based ultrasound contrast agents. When fully developed, this could potentially help 32,000-63,000 women efficiently find their proper treatment strategy to fight and win their battle against breast cancer.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000234550500006

    View details for PubMedID 16292882

  • Osmotic Pressures for Binary Solutions of Non-electrolytes Biomedical Microdevices Vladimir Granik, Bryan Ronain Smith, Stephen C. Lee, Mauro Ferrari 2002; 4 (4): 309-321

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