Enzymatic Transformation of Phosphate Decorated Magnetic Nanoparticles for Selectively Sorting and Inhibiting Cancer Cells

X. Du, J. Zhou, B. Xu
Brandeis University,
United States

Keywords: enzymatic transformation, magnetic nanoparticles. selective, sorting, inhibition, phosphatases


As an important and necessary step of sampling biological specimens, the separation of malignant cells from a mixed population of cells usually requires sophisticated instruments and/or expensive reagents. For the health care in developing regions, there is a need of inexpensive sampling method to capture tumor cells for rapid and accurate diagnosis. Here we report that an underexplored generic difference—overexpression of ectophosphatases—between cancer and normal cells triggers the D-tyrosine phosphate decorated magnetic nanoparticles (MNP@D-pY) to adhere selectively on cancer cells upon catalytic dephosphorylation, which enables magnetically separation of cancer cells from mixed population of cells (e.g., co-cultured cancer cell (HeLa-GFP) and stromal cells (HS-5)). In addition, the MNP@D-pY nanoparticles also selectively inhibit cancer cells in the co-culture (e.g., HeLa or A2780-cis cells). As a general method to broadly target cancer cells without highly specific ligand-receptor interactions (e.g., antibodies), the use of enzymatic reaction to spatiotemporally modulate the state of various nanostructures in cellular environment will ultimately lead to the development of new theranostic applications of nanomaterials or future cancer nanomedicine.