Penetration of Carbon Nanotubes into the Retinoblastoma Tumor after Intravitreal Injection in LHBETATAG Transgenic Mice Reti-noblastoma Model


Purpose: To evaluate the penetration of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) throughout retinoblastoma in a transgenic mice model.

Methods: CNTs functionalized with fluorescein isothiocyanate and targeting ligands biotin (CTN-FITC-Bio, 0.5mg/ml), or folic acid (CNT-FITC-FA, 0.5mg/ml) were injected into the vitreous of one eye of LHBETATAG transgenic mice. Other eye did not receive any injection and was used as control. Three mice were sacrificed at days 1, 2, and 3. Eyes were enucleated and stained with 4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole. The sections were imaged by fluorescent microscope. The images were transformed into grey-scale in MATLAB for intensity analysis. Background intensity was normalized by marking squares outside the eyeball and using the mean intensity of these squares. Fluorescent intensity (FI) for each image was measured by calculating the intensity of a same-sized square within retinoblastoma.

Results: Nine eyes of nine mice were included in each CNT-FITC-Bio and CNT-FITC-FA groups. The mean FI in CNT-FITC-Bio was 52.08 ± 6.33, 53.62 ± 9.00, and 65.54 ± 5.14 in days 1, 2, and 3, respectively. The mean FI in CNT-FITC-FA was 50.28 ± 7.37, 59.21 ± 6.43, and 58.38 ± 2.32 on days 1, 2, and 3, respectively. FI was significantly higher in eyes injected with CNT-FITC-Bio and CNT-FITC-FA compared to the control eyes (P = 0.02). There was no difference in FI between eyes with CNT-FITC-Bio and CNT-FITC-FA, and FI remained stable on days 1–3 in CNT-FITC-Bio, CNT-FITC-FA, and control eyes (P > 0.05).

Conclusion: We observed higher FI in eyes with CNT-FITC-Bio and CNT-FITC-FA compared to control eyes, showing penetration of CNTs throughout retinoblastoma. CNTs can be a carrier candidate for imaging or therapeutic purposes in retinoblastoma.



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