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Nat Mater. 2007 Oct;6(10):765-9. Epub 2007 Aug 19.

In vivo imaging of hydrogen peroxide with chemiluminescent nanoparticles.

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The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering and Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332, USA.


The overproduction of hydrogen peroxide is implicated in the development of numerous diseases and there is currently great interest in developing contrast agents that can image hydrogen peroxide in vivo. In this report, we demonstrate that nanoparticles formulated from peroxalate esters and fluorescent dyes can image hydrogen peroxide in vivo with high specificity and sensitivity. The peroxalate nanoparticles image hydrogen peroxide by undergoing a three-component chemiluminescent reaction between hydrogen peroxide, peroxalate esters and fluorescent dyes. The peroxalate nanoparticles have several attractive properties for in vivo imaging, such as tunable wavelength emission (460-630 nm), nanomolar sensitivity for hydrogen peroxide and excellent specificity for hydrogen peroxide over other reactive oxygen species. The peroxalate nanoparticles were capable of imaging hydrogen peroxide in the peritoneal cavity of mice during a lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory response. We anticipate numerous applications of peroxalate nanoparticles for in vivo imaging of hydrogen peroxide, given their high specificity and sensitivity and deep-tissue-imaging capability.

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