Biophotonics and biotechnology in pancreatic cancer: cyclic RGD-peptide-conjugated type II quantum dots for in vivo imaging

Pancreatology. 2010;10(5):553-64. doi: 10.1159/000283577. Epub 2010 Oct 23.


This work introduces a novel, facile and straightforward approach to produce cyclic-RGD-peptide-conjugated type II CdTe/CdS quantum dot (QD) formulation for pancreatic tumor targeting and imaging in live animals. The ultra-small QDs were prepared by a hot colloidal synthesis method. Phospholipid micelles were then used to encapsulate the QDs, allowing them to be stably dispersed in biological fluids and able to conjugate with cyclic-RGD peptides. The QD complex had shown low cytotoxicity on Panc-1 human pancreatic cancer cell lines. In addition, the tissue sections and biodistribution of QD complexes were imaged and analyzed in mice bearing pancreatic tumor xenografts, confirming specific tumor targeting. These studies support further evaluation of type II QDs as potential probes for early pancreatic cancer assessment and detection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biotechnology
  • Cadmium
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Micelles
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Peptides, Cyclic*
  • Quantum Dots*


  • Micelles
  • Peptides, Cyclic
  • cyclic arginine-glycine-aspartic acid peptide
  • Cadmium