Rapid Stereomicroscopic Imaging of HER2 Overexpression in Ex Vivo Breast Tissue Using Topically Applied Silica-Based Gold Nanoshells
Bickford, Lissett R.
Langsner, Robert J.
Kennedy, Laura C.
Agollah, Germaine D.
Tumor margin detection for patients undergoing breast conservation surgery primarily occurs postoperatively. Previously, we demonstrated that gold nanoshells rapidly enhance contrast of HER2 overexpression in ex vivo tissue sections. Our ultimate objective, however, is to discern HER2 overexpressing tissue from normal tissue in whole, nonsectioned, specimens to facilitate rapid diagnoses. Here, we use targeted nanoshells to quickly and effectively visualize HER2 receptor expression in intact ex vivo human breast tissue specimens. Punch biopsies of human breast tissue were analyzed after a brief 5-minute incubation with and without HER2-targeted silica-gold nanoshells using two-photon microscopy and stereomicroscopy. Labeling was subsequently verified using reflectance confocal microscopy, darkfield hyperspectral imaging, and immunohistochemistry to confirm levels of HER2 expression. Our results suggest that anti-HER2 nanoshells used in tandem with a near-infrared reflectance confocal microscope and a standard stereomicroscope may potentially be used to discern HER2-overexpressing cancerous tissue from normal tissue in near real time and offer a rapid supplement to current diagnostic techniques.