Targeted gadofullerene for sensitive magnetic resonance imaging and risk-stratification of breast cancer

Zheng Han, Xiaohui Wu, Sarah Roelle, Chuheng Chen, William P. Schiemann, Zheng Rong Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Molecular imaging of cancer biomarkers is critical for non-invasive accurate cancer detection and risk-stratification in precision healthcare. A peptide-targeted tri-gadolinium nitride metallofullerene, ZD2-Gd3N@C80, is synthesised for sensitive molecular magnetic resonance imaging of extradomain-B fibronectin in aggressive tumours. ZD2-Gd3N@C80 has superior r 1 and r 2 relaxivities of 223.8 and 344.7 mM-1 s-1 (1.5 T), respectively. It generates prominent contrast enhancement in aggressive MDA-MB-231 triple negative breast cancer in mice at a low dose (1.7 μmol kg-1, 1 T), but not in oestrogen receptor-positive MCF-7 tumours. Strong tumour contrast enhancement is consistently observed in other triple negative breast cancer models, but not in low-risk slow-growing tumours. The dose of the contrast agent for effective molecular MRI is only slightly lower than that of ZD2-Cy5.5 (0.5 μmol kg-1) in fluorescence imaging. These results demonstrate that high-sensitivity molecular magnetic resonance imaging with ZD2-Gd3N@C80 may provide accurate detection and risk-stratification of high-risk tumours for precision healthcare of breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number692
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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