pH Responsive Near-infrared Fluorescence Probe Imaging Tumors by Sensing the Acidic Microenvironment


Professor Cong Li, School of Pharmacy at Fudan Unviersity, Shanghai

Date & Time:

Tuesday, 4 August 2015, 11:00

Chemistry Research Laboratory, Wolfson Seminar Room, off South Parks Road OX1 3UB
CRUK & EPSRC Cancer Imaging Centre in Oxford

Cong Li from the Key Laboratory of Smart Drug Delivery, Ministry of Education, School of Pharmacy, Fudan University, Shanghai 201203, China

Acidification of extracellular pH (pHe) is a universal characteristic of solid tumor regardless of their genotypes or phenotypes. The acidic pHe plays important role in tumor invasion, migration and metastasis by driving protease-mediated digestion, disrupting cell-matrix interaction and up-regulating the metastatic potential of cancer cells. Currently most fluorescence probes detected the neoplasia by targeting the tumor-associated receptors over-expressed on the cancer cell membrane.
However, the expression level of these receptors is hard to predict, which compromises imaging sensitivity and accuracy. Furthermore, the signal of the receptor-targeting probes always stays at a high level, which leads to a strong background signal in normal tissue due to non-specific binding. In this work, a novel biodegradable nanoprobe that showed pH-activated near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence was developed. This probe visualized both subcutaneous and orthotopic human glioblastoma U87MG xenografts with sensitivity and target to background ratio in vivo. Overall, the work provides a prototype to visualize the solid tumor in vivo with high sensitivity and minimal systemic toxicity by sensing the tumor acidic microenvironment.

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