Newly developed nanostructures have proven to be effective vehicles for laser imaging and ablation of ovarian cancer cells. A team from the University of California, Riverside, and the University of Texas said their approach facilitated near-infrared fluorescence imaging of the over-expression of human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2), as well as photothermal destruction of these cells in vitro. “Multifunctional nanoconstructs were utilized to optically detect ovarian cancer cells followed by laser-based photodestruction of cancer cells,” said Dr. Baharak Bahmani of UC Riverside. Flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy allowed the researchers to look at the constructs’ molecular targeting and imaging capabilities against SKOV3 and OVCAR3 ovarian cancer cell lines. Continuous NIR laser irradiation at 808 nm was used to investigate the utility of those constructs. The nanoconstructs used an NIR dye, indocyanine green (ICG), encapsulated within a polymer functionalized with monoclonal antibodies. The researchers found that the functionalized nanoconstructs are more effective in targeting the HER2 receptor than nonencapsulated ICG and nonfunctionalized constructs. The researchers said their findings could be applied to intraoperative detection, imaging and phototherapy of ovarian cancer nodules. The research was published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine (doi: 10.1002/lsm.22269). For more information, visit www.ucr.edu.