Sentinel lymph node imaging using quantum dots in mouse tumor models.

<p>We demonstrate that quantum dots injected into two model tumors rapidly migrate to sentinel lymph nodes. PEG-coated quantum dots having terminal carboxyl, amino, or methoxyl groups all migrated from the tumor to surrounding lymph nodes similarly. Passage from the tumor through lymphatics to adjacent nodes could be visualized dynamically through the skin; at least two nodes could usually be defined. Imaging during necropsy confirmed confinement of the quantum dots to the lymphatic system and demonstrated easy tagging of sentinel lymph nodes for pathology. Examination of the sentinel nodes identified by quantum dot localization showed that at least some contained metastatic tumor foci.</p>