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Anal Chem. 2019 Feb 5;91(3):2128-2134. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.8b04585. Epub 2019 Jan 24.

In Vivo Photoacoustic/Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography Imaging for Dynamic Monitoring of Aggregation-Enhanced Photothermal Nanoagents.

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State Key Laboratory of Radiation Medicine and Protection, School for Radiological and Interdisciplinary Sciences (RAD-X), Collaborative Innovation Center of Radiation Medicine of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions , Soochow University , 199 Renai Road, Suzhou Industrial Park , Suzhou 215123 , China.
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Biology & Basic Medical Sciences , Soochow University , 199 Renai Road, Suzhou Industrial Park , Suzhou 215123 , China.
Department of Orthopedics , Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University , 1055 Sanxiang Road , Suzhou 215004 , China.


Emerging nanomedical strategy is to construct a nanoagent that affords not only diagnostic and therapeutic functions but also imaging-guided treatment. It is crucial to understand the in vivo biological processes of nanoagents for improving theranostic function and biosafety. Herein, we report a multimodal photoacoustic/single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging technique to dynamically monitor the in vivo behaviors of nanoagents. Near-infrared cypate-induced silk fibroin nanoassembly was chosen as the nanoagent object due to their promise in biocompatibility and aggregation-enhanced photothermal effect. This unique effect makes the nanoagents useful for the integration of photoacoustic imaging and photothermal therapy. Moreover, the nanoagents are also labeled with the radionuclides (99mTc) to render SPECT imaging. Multimodal photoacoustic/SPECT imaging provides real time, noninvasive, sensitive, and whole-body 3D information about nanoagents' distribution in vivo. These results highlight the significance of visualizing the in vivo behaviors of nanoagents and locating the tumor in vivo, substantially benefiting the better treatment planning.

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