Targeted SERS nanosensors measure physicochemical gradients and free energy changes in live 3D tumor spheroids

Lauren E. Jamieson, Victoria L. Camus, Pierre O. Bagnaninchi, Kate M. Fisher, Grant D. Stewart, William H. Nailon, Duncan B. McLaren, David J. Harrison, Colin J. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Use of multicellular tumor spheroids (MTS) to investigate therapies has gained impetus because they have potential to mimic factors including zonation, hypoxia and drug-resistance. However, analysis remains difficult and often destroys 3D integrity. Here we report an optical technique using targeted nanosensors that allows in situ 3D mapping of redox potential gradients whilst retaining MTS morphology and function. The magnitude of the redox potential gradient can be quantified as a free energy difference (ΔG) and used as a measurement of MTS viability. We found that by delivering different doses of radiotherapy to MTS we could correlate loss of ΔG with increasing therapeutic dose. In addition, we found that resistance to drug therapy was indicated by an increase in ΔG. This robust and reproducible technique allows interrogation of an in vitro tumor-model's bioenergetic response to therapy, indicating its potential as a tool for therapy development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16710-16718
Number of pages8
JournalNanoscale
Volume8
Issue number37
Early online date6 Sep 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sep 2016

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