Theranostics 2012; 2(7):714-722. doi:10.7150/thno.3927

Research Paper

In Vitro Evaluation of Theranostic Polymeric Micelles for Imaging and Drug Delivery in Cancer

Rajiv Kumar, Apurva Kulkarni, Dattatri K Nagesha, Srinivas Sridhar

Electronic Materials Research Institute, Northeastern University, Boston MA USA.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
Kumar R, Kulkarni A, Nagesha DK, Sridhar S. In Vitro Evaluation of Theranostic Polymeric Micelles for Imaging and Drug Delivery in Cancer. Theranostics 2012; 2(7):714-722. doi:10.7150/thno.3927. Available from

File import instruction


For the past decade engineered nanoplatforms have seen a momentous progress in developing a multimodal theranostic formulation which can be simultaneously used for imaging and therapy. In this report we describe the synthesis and application of theranostic phospholipid based polymeric micelles for optical fluorescence imaging and controlled drug delivery. CdSe quantum dots (QDs) and anti-cancer drug, doxorubicin (Dox), were co-encapsulated into the hydrophobic core of the micelles. The micelles are characterized using optical spectroscopy for characteristic absorbance and fluorescence features of QDs and Dox. TEM and DLS studies yielded a size of <50 nm for the micellar formulations with very narrow size distribution. A sustained release of the drug was observed from the co-encapsulated micellar formulation. In vitro optical fluorescence imaging and cytotoxicity studies with HeLa cell line demonstrated the potential of these micellar systems as efficient optical imaging and therapeutic probes.

Keywords: Theranostic Polymeric Micelles, Imaging, Drug Delivery, Cancer