Folate receptor targeted self-assembled chitosan-based nanoparticles for SPECT/CT imaging: demonstrating a preclinical proof of concept

Int J Pharm. 2014 Oct 20;474(1-2):91-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2014.07.055. Epub 2014 Aug 2.


A new biocompatible, biodegradable, self-assembled chitosan-based nanoparticulate product was successfully synthesized and radiolabeled with technetium-99m, and studied as a potential new SPECT or SPECT/CT imaging agent for diagnosis of folate receptor overexpressing tumors. In the present study we examined the conditions of a preclinical application of this labeled nanosystem in early diagnosis of spontaneously diseased veterinary patient using a human SPECT/CT device. The results confirmed that the nanoparticles accumulated in tumor cells overexpressing folate receptors, contrast agent revealed higher uptake in the tumor for a long time. Preclinical trials verified that the new nanoparticles are able to detect folate-receptor-overexpressing tumors in spontaneously diseased animal models with enhanced contrast.

Keywords: (99m)Tc; Chitosan; Folate receptor; Nanomedicine; Nanoparticles; SPECT-CT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemical synthesis
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry
  • Cats
  • Chitosan / chemical synthesis
  • Chitosan / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Folate Receptors, GPI-Anchored / analysis*
  • Folate Receptors, GPI-Anchored / metabolism*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Mouth Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Multimodal Imaging / methods
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / chemical synthesis
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / chemistry
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Folate Receptors, GPI-Anchored
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Chitosan