The Nanoscale Research Letters is publishing a study from the Laboratory of Nano-Bioengineering of NRNU MEPhI on designing next-generation theranostic systems for multiplexed diagnosis and specific treatment of cancers

The Nanoscale Research Letters has accepted the paper describing a novel nanotechnological development in the field of medical diagnosis and treatment performed at the Laboratory of Nano-Bioengineering (LNBE) of NRNU MEPhI in collaboration with researchers from other universities and research centers of Russia, Germany, and France (Next-Generation Theranostic Agents Based on Polyelectrolyte Microcapsules Encoded with Semiconductor Nanocrystals: Development and Functional Characterization by G. Nifontova, M. Zvaigzne, M. Baryshnikova, E. Korostylev, F. Ramos-Gomes, F. Alves, I. Nabiev, A. Sukhanova).

Polyelectrolyte microcapsules are among the most promising tools for targeted delivery and controlled release of drugs, contrast agents, and fluorescent labels to be used in diagnosis and treatment of malignant tumors.

Galina Nifontova, Maria Zvaigzne, Maria Baryshnikova, and Igor Nabiev, of LNBE, and their co-authors from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (Russia), Max-Planck-Institute of Experimental Medicine (Germany), and University of Reims (France) have developed a method for obtaining microbeads whose multilayer shell of oppositely charged polyelectrolytes contains embedded quantum dots, fluorescent nanocrystals characterized by a bright emission and high photostability. The possibility of incorporation of quantum dots fluorescing in different spectral regions into theranostic systems of drug delivery based on polyelectrolyte microcapsules offers new prospects for monitoring their transport in the living body. Moreover, experiments have shown that the fate of the microcapsules in vivo can be tracked even at the subcellular level (distribution of the capsules and their contents among cell compartments). Characterization of the next-generation optically encoded microcapsules has shown that they can serve as a basis for a new generation of efficacious theranostic agents, i.e., those that can be used for both diagnosis and targeted drug delivery.

The study to be published was supported by the State Contract with the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation on research in Multifunctional Stimulus-Sensitive Microcapsules and Nanocrystals for Early Diagnosis and Efficacious Treatment of Lung and Breast Cancers (contract no. 16.1034.2017/PCh).

The Nanoscale Research Letters is a Springer international interdisciplinary journal publishing studies at the interface of nanoscience with other disciplines, including chemistry, engineering, biology, and medicine.

A figure from the paper: Confocal microphotographs showing the uptake of quantum-dot-encoded microcapsules (green fluorescence; indicated with arrows) by live macrophages. The macrophage nuclei are stained red.



Galina O. Nifontova, junior researcher, LNBE (

Maria G. Korenkova, LNBE director of external relations (

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