Fluorescence imaging is a promising method widely used for the evaluation of the biodistribution and accumulation of various fluorescent agents cross-linked to the drug for effective therapy control. This work presents the methods for the functionalization of nanomaterials to provide them with fluorescent properties. The first of these methods is a unique technology for producing porous silicon with fluorescent properties. The second approach demonstrates linking of the fluorophores to inorganic nanoparticles (NP) using a spacer molecule ending with a functional group. For all these examples of fluorophores, biodistribution studies were performed with the fluorescent imaging system IVIS Lumina LT III (PerkinElmer, USA). It was noted that the size of particles and the method of their injection affect the distribution and accumulation in organs. The resulting materials can be used to develop platforms for theranostics.
Clinical experience indicates that enhanced level of heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) and p53 correlates with poor prognosis due to malignant cell overexpression of these proteins in tumor progression. Cadmium selenide quantum dots (QDs) were synthesized in aqueous solution using mercaptopropionic acid and L-cysteine (L-Cys) as ligands. They were conjugated with a monoclonal antibody (Ab) to p53 and cmHp70.1 to Hsp70 for detection of cancer cell apoptosis that was demonstrated in the experiment by fluorescent confocal microscopy both for breast carcinoma cells and for thyroid tissue. It is shown that in comparison with organic dyes, quantum dots have superior photostability of tracking apoptosis in cancer cells for longer time.