Interrogation of EGFR-Targeted uptake of TiO2 nanoconjugates by X-ray fluorescence microscopy

Y. Yuan*, T. Paunesku, H. Arora, J. Ward, S. Vogt, G. Woloschak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


We are developing TiO2 nanoconjugates that can be used as therapeutic and diagnostic agents. Nanoscale TiO2 can be surface conjugated with various molecules and has the unique ability to induce the production of reactive oxygen species after radiation activation. One way to improve the potential clinical usefulness of TiO2 nanoparticles is to control their delivery to malignant cells by targeting them to cancer-cell-specific antigens. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is one potential target that is enriched in epithelial cancers and is rapidly internalized after ligand binding. Hence, we have synthesized TiO2 nanoparticles and functionalized them with a short EGFR-binding peptide to create EGFR-targeted NCs. X-ray fluorescence microscopy was used to image nanoconjugates within EGFR-positive HeLa cells. Further labeling of fixed cells with antibodies against EGFR and Protein A nanogold showed that TiO2 nanoconjugates can colocalize with receptors at the cell's plasma membrane. Interestingly, with increased incubation times, EGFR-targeted nanoconjugates could also be found colocalized with EGFR within the cell nucleus. This suggests that EGFR-targeted nanoconjugates can bind the receptor at the cell membrane, which leads to the internalization of NC-receptor complexes and the subsequent transport of nanoconjugates into the nucleus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication10th International Conference on X-Ray Microscopy
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2010
Event10th International Conference on X-Ray Microscopy - Chicago, IL, United States
Duration: Aug 15 2010Aug 20 2010

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


Other10th International Conference on X-Ray Microscopy
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityChicago, IL


  • EGFR
  • Nanoconjugates
  • TiO2
  • peptides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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