Near-infrared fluorescent probes in cancer imaging and therapy: an emerging field.

Xiaomin Yi, Fuli Wang, Weijun Qin, Xiaojian Yang, Jianlin Yuan
International journal of nanomedicine2014
Near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging is an attractive modality for early cancer detection with high sensitivity and multi-detection capability. Due to convenient modification by conjugating with moieties of interests, NIRF probes are ideal candidates for cancer targeted imaging. Additionally, the combinatory application of NIRF imaging and other imaging modalities that can delineate anatomical structures extends fluorometric determination of biomedical information. Moreover, nanoparticles loaded with NIRF dyes and anticancer agents contribute to the synergistic management of cancer, which integrates the advantage of imaging and therapeutic functions to achieve the ultimate goal of simultaneous diagnosis and treatment. Appropriate probe design with targeting moieties can retain the original properties of NIRF and pharmacokinetics. In recent years, great efforts have been made to develop new NIRF probes with better photostability and strong fluorescence emission, leading to the discovery of numerous novel NIRF probes with fine photophysical properties. Some of these probes exhibit tumoricidal activities upon light radiation, which holds great promise in photothermal therapy, photodynamic therapy, and photoimmunotherapy. This review aims to provide a timely and concise update on emerging NIRF dyes and multifunctional agents. Their potential uses as agents for cancer specific imaging, lymph node mapping, and therapeutics are included. Recent advances of NIRF dyes in clinical use are also summarized.
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