Red-Fluorescent Pt Nanoclusters for Detecting and Imaging HER2 in Breast Cancer Cells


Overexpression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is associated with more frequent cancer recurrence and metastasis. Sensitive sensing of HER2 in living breast cancer cells is crucial in the early stages of cancer and to further understand its role in cells. Biomedical imaging has become an indispensable tool in the fields of early cancer diagnosis and therapy. In this study, we designed and synthesized platinum (Pt) nanocluster bionanoprobes with red emission (Ex/Em = 535/630 nm) for fluorescence imaging of HER2. Our Pt nanoclusters, which were synthesized using polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimer and preequilibration, exhibited approximately 1% quantum yield and possessed low cytotoxicity, ultrasmall size, and excellent photostability. Furthermore, combined with ProteinA as an adapter protein, we developed Pt bionanoprobes with minimal nonspecific binding and utilized them as fluorescent probes for highly sensitive optical imaging of HER2 at the cellular level. More importantly, molecular probes with long-wavelength emission have allowed visualization of deep anatomical features because of enhanced tissue penetration and a decrease in background noise from tissue scattering. Our Pt nanoclusters are promising fluorescent probes for biomedical applications.

ACS Omega