Persistent luminescent nanoparticles for tumor imaging and cell tracking

Fluorescence imaging is widely used in preclinical animal studies but its efficacy is restricted by a suboptimal signal-to-noise ratio and a shallow detection depth. One primary factor behind the limitations is the tissue autofluorescence, which is generated from normal tissues under external excitation light and interferes or even overwhelms signals of interest. To address the issue, we and our collaborators are developing a series of phosphorescent nanoparticles. These nanoparticles produce long-lasting near-infrared persistent luminescence after the terminus of photoirradiation. Due to the excitation-free nature, the enabled imaging permits sensitivity and penetration that far exceed conventional fluorescence-based imaging.

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Theranostics. 2014;4(11):1112-22