A Potential for Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

Multifunctional mesoporous gadolinium-enriched TiO2 microspheres can be simultaneously used for cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Authors: Roghayeh Imani, Ralf Dillert, Detlef W. Bahnemann, Meysam Pazoki, Tomaž Apih, Veno Kononenko, Neža Repar, Veronika Kralj-Iglič, Gerrit Boschloo, Damjana Drobne, Tomas Edvinsson, Aleš Iglič

Gadolinium-enriched TiO2 microspheres (beads) possess controlled multifunctional properties. Mesoporous semiconductor TiO2 microspheres were enriched with gadolinium to improve their photoluminescence functionality and to make them applicable in optical and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) due to improved  spin relaxation for  MRI. Additional applicability stems from the enhanced generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) under UV-A light irradiation. Gadolinium-enriched microspheres were integrated into MG-63 osteosarcoma cell lines, which means they are biocompatible. The principal advantage of the use of gadolinium-doped TiO2 microspheres is the possibility of their simultaneous use for cancer diagnosis (MRI) and treatment (ROS production upon UV irradiation). Namely, doped TiO2 microspheres can be simultaneously used both for locating cancer cells (i.e. diagnostics via MRI) as well as for killing cells (i.e. therapy), which is the result of the formation of ROS when TiO2 microspheres in cancer tissue are exposed to UV light. The essential concept here is that cancer cells and normal cells have different dynamics of accepting TiO2 microspheres. Cancer cells accept them faster (more) than healthy cells, which is fatal for cancer cells once exposed to UV-A light.

The work is the product of cooperation of researchers from the University of Ljubljana Members, i.e. the Faculty of Health Sciences (Roghayeh Imani, Veronika Kralj-Iglič), the Faculty of Electrical Engineering (Roghayeh Imani, Aleš Iglič), the Faculty of Medicine (Aleš Iglič), the Biotechnical Faculty (Veno Kononenko, Neža Repar, Damjana Drobne) and the Jožef Stefan Institute (Tomaž Apih). Cooperation was further enhanced by researchers from the University of Hannover, Germany (Ralf Dillert, Detlef W. Bahnemann), the University of Uppsala, Sweden (Meysam Pazoki, Gerrit Boschloo, Tomas Edvinsson) and the Saint Petersburg State University, Russia (Detlef W. Bahnemann). The lead author of the research article Iranian-born Dr. Roghayeh Imani initially worked as a young researcher at the Laboratory of Clinical Biophysics at the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Ljubljana (mentors V. Kralj-Iglič and A. Iglič, co-mentor A. P. F. Turner, FRSC) and later as a postdoctoral researcher at the Laboratory of  Biophysics at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana. The publication is the result of internationalisation of the University of Ljubljana students and professors.

Source: R. Imani, R. Dillert, D.W. Bahnemann, M. Pazoki, T. Apih, V. Kononenko, N. Repar, V. Kralj-Iglič, G. Boschloo, D. Drobne, T. Edvinsson, A. Iglič: Multifunctional Gadolinium-Doped Mesoporous TiO2 Microbeads: A potential for cancer diagnosis and treatment, Small, 1700349, 2017.