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Fluorescent or Radioactive PEG-like Nanoprobes

Researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School developed the novel, “PEG-like Nanoprobes,’’ with controllable pharmacokinetics and tunable fluorescence. The “PEG-like Nanoprobes’’ nanoparticles feature a unique design where a single PEG polymer surrounds a short fluorochrome and radiometal bearing peptide, and endows the resulting nanoprobe with pharmacokinetic control (based on the molecular weight of the PEG) and optical tunability (based on the fluorochrome), while the chelate provides a radiolabeling option.

Applications for PEG Nanoprobes

The “PEG-like Nanoprobes’’ design allows the pharmacokinetics of fluorescent imaging agents and radiometals to be optimized for specific applications by varying the size of the PEG, which is a widely available polymer recognized as safe after extensive clinical use.

Clinical applications may include in vivo fluorescent imaging, nuclear imaging, and imaging-guided therapy (theranostics). This work represents a new use of PEG polymers for passive targeting by changing the length of PEG resulting in different pharmacokinetic profiles. This work is published in PLoS ONE. “PEG-Like Nanoprobes: Multimodal, Pharmacokinetically and Optically Tunable Nanomaterials”. PLoS ONE, 2014, 9(4): e95406. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095406.

The “PEG-like Nanoprobes’’ were synthesized by conjugating peptides to Creative PEGWorks‘ linear monofunctional PEG NHS ester of various molecular weights from 1,000 to 30,000. mPEG-NHS is a class of amine reactive PEG derivatives for PEGylation of peptides, proteins and other molecules and nanoparticles with free primary amine groups.