In vivo fluorescence imaging: a personal perspective.
In vivo fluorescence imaging with near-infrared (NIR) light holds enormous potential for a wide variety of molecular diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Because of its quantitative sensitivity, inherent biological safety, and relative ease of use (i.e., with respect to cost, time, mobility, and its familiarity to a diverse population of investigators), fluorescence-based imaging techniques are being increasingly utilized in small-animal research. Moreover, there is substantial interest in the translation of novel optical techniques into the clinic, where they will prospectively aid in noninvasive and quantitative screening, disease diagnosis, and post-treatment monitoring of patients. Effective deep-tissue fluorescence imaging requires the application of exogenous NIR-emissive contrast agents. Currently, available probes fall into two major categories: organic and inorganic NIR fluorophores (NIRFs). In the studies reviewed herein, we utilized polymersomes (50 nm to 50 microm diameter polymer vesicles) for the incorporation and delivery of large numbers of highly emissive oligo (porphyrin)-based, organic NIRFs.
Ghoroghchian, PP; Therien, MJ; Hammer, DA
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