Background: Tumor derived cellular microvesicles (TDMVs), as excellent drug delivery vehicles in vivo, play an important role in the treatment of cancers. However, it is difficult to obtain intuitional biodistribution behavior and internalization mechanisms of TDMVs in vivo. Thus, it is very urgent and important to establish a stable and reliable visualization technology to track the biological behavior and function of TDMVs. As an endogenous biopolymer, melanin possesses natural biocompatibility and biodegradability, and various biological imaging could be realized by modifying it. Therefore, melanin-based nanoparticles are excellent candidates for in vivo visualization of TDMVs.
Methods: In this work, the biodistribution and metabolic behavior of TDMVs were visualized by dual-modality imaging with PAI and MRI after incubation with gadolinium ion-chelated melanin nanoparticles.
Results: In this study, MRI and PAI dual-modality imaging of the in vivo distribution behavior of TDMVs was achieved with the help of MNP-Gd. The good targeting ability of TDMVs at the homologous tumor site was observed, and their distribution and metabolism behavior in the whole body were studied at the meantime. The results indicated that TDMVs preferentially accumulated in syngeneic tumor sites and liver regions after intravenous injection and were eventually metabolized by the kidneys over time.
Conclusion: This work proposed a novel dual-modal imaging strategy for the visualization of TDMVs, which is of great significance for further understanding the biological mechanisms of extracellular vesicles.