Authors: Zeid A. Nima, Fumiya Watanabe, Azemat Jamshidi-Parsian, Mustafa Sarimollaoglu, Dmitry A. Nedosekin, Mikyung Han, J. Alex Watts, Alexandru S. Biris, Vladimir P. Zharov & Ekaterina I. Galanzha
Publication: Scientific Reports, volume 9, Article number: 887 (2019)
Nanoparticles from magnetotactic bacteria have been used in conventional imaging, drug delivery, and magnetic manipulations. Here, we show that these natural nanoparticles and their bioinspired hybrids with near-infrared gold nanorods and folic acid can serve as molecular high-contrast photoacoustic probes for single-cell diagnostics and as photothermal agents for single-cell therapy using laser-induced vapor nanobubbles and magnetic field as significant signal and therapy amplifiers. These theranostics agents enable the detection and photomechanical killing of triple negative breast cancer cells that are resistant to conventional chemotherapy, with just one or a few low-energy laser pulses. In studies in vivo, we discovered that circulating tumor cells labeled with the nanohybrids generate transient ultrasharp photoacoustic resonances directly in the bloodstream as the basis for new super-resolution photoacoustic flow cytometry in vivo. These properties make natural and bioinspired magnetic nanoparticles promising biocompatible, multimodal, high-contrast, and clinically relevant cellular probes for many in vitro and in vivo biomedical applications.