Imaging of cancer cells and cancer stem cells (CSCs) plays an important role in studying cell biology and tracking cancer development and metastasis. There is a wide interest in targeting cancer cells using fluorescent nanoclusters (NCs) capped in protein due to excellent cell viability and photostability, one-step synthesis route, large Stokes shift, good aqueous stability, and easy functionalization capability with long lifetime. Since CD44 is a CSC marker as well as a transmembrane receptor for hyaluronic acid (HA) and many other extracellular matrix (ECM) components, in this protocol, a biocompatible platform was synthesized by conjugation of HA onto luminescent platinum nanoclusters (Pt NCs) in human hemoglobin (Hb) (Hb/Pt NCs). This bioplatform could be used for specific imaging via an efficient targeting of CD44-overexpressing cancer cells and cancer stem cells.
Keywords: CD44 marker; Cell/stem cell; Human hemoglobin; Hyaluronic acid; Luminescent platinum nanoclusters.
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