NIR-II Photoacoustic Reporter for Biopsy-Free and Real-Time Assessment of Wilson's Disease

Qinrui Fu, Jiamin Ye, Juejun Wang, Naishun Liao, Hongjuan Feng, Lichao Su, Xiaoguang Ge, Huanghao Yang, Jibin Song
Wilson's disease (WD) is a rare inherited disorder of copper metabolism with pathological copper hyperaccumulation in some vital organs. However, the clinical diagnosis technique of WD is complicated, aggressive, and time-consuming. In this work, a novel ratiometric photoacoustic (PA) imaging nanoprobe in the NIR-II window is developed to achieve noninvasive, rapid, and accurate Cu2+ quantitative detection in vitro and in vivo. The nanoprobe consists of Cu2+-responsive IR970 dye and a nonresponsive palladium-coated gold nanorod (AuNR-Pd), achieving a concentration-dependent ratiometric PA970/PA1260 signal change. The urinary Cu2+ content is detectable within minutes down to a detection limit of 76 × 10−9 m. This report acquisition time is several orders of magnitude shorter than those of existing detection approaches requiring complex procedure. Moreover, utilizing the ratiometric PA nanoprobe, PA imaging enables biopsy-free measurement of the liver Cu2+ content and visualization of the liver Cu2+ biodistribution of WD patient, which avoid the body injury during the clinical Cu2+ test using liver biopsy method. The NIR-II ratiometric PA detection method is simple and noninvasive with super precision, celerity, and simplification, which holds great promise as an alternative to liver biopsy for clinical diagnosis of WD.

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