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Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging
Volume 2018, Article ID 8710862, 7 pages
Research Article

Thyroid Cancer Detection by Ultrasound Molecular Imaging with SHP2-Targeted Perfluorocarbon Nanoparticles

1Department of Ultrasound, Zhongda Hospital, Southeast University, Nanjing, China
2Department of Ultrasound, Jinling Clinical Medical College, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China

Correspondence should be addressed to ZhongQian Hu; moc.621@029qzh and Jia Li; moc.361@29890615931

Received 7 November 2017; Revised 22 January 2018; Accepted 29 January 2018; Published 8 March 2018

Academic Editor: Yuebing Wang

Copyright © 2018 ZhongQian Hu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging has been widely used in the ultrasound diagnosis of a variety of tumours with high diagnostic accuracy, especially in patients with hepatic carcinoma, while its application is rarely reported in thyroid cancer. The currently used ultrasound contrast agents, microbubbles, cannot be targeted to molecular markers expressed in tumour cells due to their big size, leading to a big challenge for ultrasound molecular imaging. Phase-changeable perfluorocarbon nanoparticles may resolve the penetrability limitation of microbubbles and serve as a promising probe for ultrasound molecular imaging. Methods. 65 thyroid tumour samples and 40 normal samples adjacent to thyroid cancers were determined for SHP2 expression by IHC. SHP2-targeted PLGA nanoparticles (NPs-SHP2) encapsulating perfluoropentane (PFP) were prepared with PLGA-PEG as a shell material, and their specific target-binding ability was assessed in vitro and in vivo, and the effect on the enhancement of ultrasonic imaging induced by LIFU was studied in vivo. Results. In the present study, we verified that tumour overexpression of SHP2 and other protein tyrosine phosphatases regulated several cellular processes and contributed to tumorigenesis, which could be introduced to ultrasound molecular imaging for differentiating normal from malignant thyroid diagnostic nodes. The IHC test showed remarkably high expression of SHP2 in human thyroid carcinoma specimens. In thyroid tumour xenografts in mice, the imaging signal was significantly enhanced by SHP2-targeted nanoparticles after LIFU induction. Conclusion. This study provides a basis for preclinical exploration of ultrasound molecular imaging with NPs-SHP2 for clinical thyroid nodule detection to enhance diagnostic accuracy.