Reduction Triggered In Situ Polymerization in Living Mice

Lina Cui, Sandro Vivona, Bryan Ronain Smith, Sri Rajasekhar Kothapalli, Jun Liu, Xiaowei Ma, Zixin Chen, Madelynn Taylor, Paul H. Kierstead, Jean M.J. Fréchet, Sanjiv S. Gambhir, Jianghong Rao
Journal of the American Chemical Society2020
"Smart" biomaterials that are responsive to physiological or biochemical stimuli have found many biomedical applications for tissue engineering, therapeutics, and molecular imaging. In this work, we describe in situ polymerization of activatable biorthogonal small molecules in response to a reducing environment change in vivo. We designed a carbohydrate linker- and cyanobenzothiazole-cysteine condensation reaction-based small molecule scaffold that can undergo rapid condensation reaction upon physiochemical changes (such as a reducing environment) to form polymers (pseudopolysaccharide). The fluorescent and photoacoustic properties of a fluorophore-tagged condensation scaffold before and after the transformation have been examined with a dual-modality optical imaging method. These results confirmed the in situ polymerization of this probe after both local and systemic administration in living mice.
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