Early Detection of Breast Cancer: Synthesis and Characterization of Novel Target Specific NIR-Fluorescent Estrogen Conjugate for Molecular Optical Imaging
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Estrogen induced proliferation of existing mutant cells is widely understood to be the major risk determining factor in the development of breast cancer. Hence determination of the Estrogen Receptor[ER] status is of paramount importance. We have carried out the synthesis and characterization of a novel NIR fluorescent dye conjugate aimed at measuring ER+ve status in-vivo. The conjugate was synthesized by ester formation between 17-beta estradiol and a cyanine dye namely: bis-1, 1-(4-sulfobutyl) indotricarbocyanine-5-carboxylic acid, sodium salt. The replacement of the sodium ion in the ester by a larger glucosammonium ion was found to enhance the hydrophilicity and reduce the toxic effect on cell lines. The excitation and emission peaks for the dye were recorded as 750 and 788 nm respectively; ideal for non-invasive optical imaging owing to minimal tissue attenuation and auto-fluorescence at these wavelengths. The dye (NIRDC1) has a significant drop in plasma-protein binding therefore leading to marked improvement in pharmacokinetic profile such as dye evacuation in comparison to ICG. In addition the dye showed enhanced fluorescence quantum yield, molar extinction coefficient and linearity in fluorescence relative to ICG. This dye can be potentially used as a target specific exogenous contrast agent in molecular optical imaging for early detection of breast cancer.
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