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Nat Nanotechnol. 2014 Mar;9(3):233-9. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2013.302. Epub 2014 Jan 26.

Semiconducting polymer nanoparticles as photoacoustic molecular imaging probes in living mice.

Author information

1
1] Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford, Department of Radiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, 1201 Welch Road, Stanford, California 94305-5484, USA [2].
2
Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford, Department of Radiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, 1201 Welch Road, Stanford, California 94305-5484, USA.
3
Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305-5025, USA.
4
1] Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford, Department of Radiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, 1201 Welch Road, Stanford, California 94305-5484, USA [2] Department of Bioengineering and Department of Materials Science & Engineering, 318 Campus Drive, Stanford California 94305-5444, USA.

Abstract

Photoacoustic imaging holds great promise for the visualization of physiology and pathology at the molecular level with deep tissue penetration and fine spatial resolution. To fully utilize this potential, photoacoustic molecular imaging probes have to be developed. Here, we introduce near-infrared light absorbing semiconducting polymer nanoparticles as a new class of contrast agents for photoacoustic molecular imaging. These nanoparticles can produce a stronger signal than the commonly used single-walled carbon nanotubes and gold nanorods on a per mass basis, permitting whole-body lymph-node photoacoustic mapping in living mice at a low systemic injection mass. Furthermore, the semiconducting polymer nanoparticles possess high structural flexibility, narrow photoacoustic spectral profiles and strong resistance to photodegradation and oxidation, enabling the development of the first near-infrared ratiometric photoacoustic probe for in vivo real-time imaging of reactive oxygen species--vital chemical mediators of many diseases. These results demonstrate semiconducting polymer nanoparticles to be an ideal nanoplatform for developing photoacoustic molecular probes.

PMID:
24463363
PMCID:
PMC3947658
DOI:
10.1038/nnano.2013.302
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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