Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Int J Nanomedicine. 2012;7:3203-9. doi: 10.2147/IJN.S32828. Epub 2012 Jun 27.

Optical imaging to trace near infrared fluorescent zinc oxide nanoparticles following oral exposure.

Author information

  • 1Department of Nuclear Medicine, Chonbuk National University Medical School and Hospital, Jeonju, Jeollabuk-Do, Republic of Korea.



Understanding how nanomaterials are distributed in the body after exposure is important for assessing whether they are safe. In this study, we investigated the behavior and accumulation of nanoscaled and submicron-scaled zinc oxide (ZnO) particles in the body using optical imaging following oral exposure.


To trace these nanoparticles in the body, ZnO nanoparticles were conjugated with a monoreactive hydroxysuccinimide ester of Cy5.5 (Cy5.5-NHS), and the conjugation-stabilizing effect of Cy5.5 on the nanoparticles was evaluated in simulated gastric fluid (pH 1.2) for 7 hours. To compare the distribution of Cy5.5-NHS and Cy5.5-conjugated ZnO nanoparticles, Cy5.5-NHS 0.5 mg/kg and Cy5.5-conjugated ZnO nanoparticles 250 mg/kg were administered orally to healthy rats. We collected blood from the rats at predesignated time points for 7 hours after administration, and optical imaging studies were performed at 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 hours after dosing. To investigate the extent of nanoparticle accumulation in the organs and tissues, the mice were sacrificed at 23 hours after administration, and the organs were removed and imaged.


Cy5.5-conjugated ZnO nanoparticles were stable in simulated gastric fluid for 7 hours. The signal intensity of Cy5.5-NHS in blood was highest 3 hours after oral administration, and Cy5.5-conjugated ZnO nanoparticles showed the highest signal intensity in blood 5-7 hours after administration. In vivo optical images indicated that Cy5.5-NHS showed optical signals in the lung, liver, and gastrointestinal tract after oral administration, whereas Cy5.5-conjugated ZnO nanoparticles were seen only in the gastrointestinal tract. Seven hours following administration, biodistribution studies demonstrated that Cy5.5-NHS accumulated in the lung and liver, and Cy5.5-conjugated ZnO nanoparticles resulted in a strong signal in the kidney and liver. Different-sized ZnO nanoparticles showed dissimilar patterns of biodistribution in ex vivo optical images.


ZnO nanoparticles are absorbed into the tissues following oral exposure and their behavior can be monitored and evaluated using optical imaging.


biodistribution; optical imaging; oral administration; zinc oxide nanoparticles

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (8)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5
Figure 6
Figure 7
Figure 8
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Dove Medical Press Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk