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Characterization and Biodistribution Analysis of Oxygen-Doped Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Used as in Vivo Fluorescence Imaging Probes.

Bioconjugate chemistry (2019-03-09)
Tsukasa Takeuchi, Yoko Iizumi, Masako Yudasaka, Shinae Kizaka-Kondoh, Toshiya Okazaki
ABSTRACT

Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) show strong fluorescence in the 1000-1700 nm second near-infrared (NIR-II) wavelength range and are considered promising candidates for angiographic imaging probes. Oxygen-doped SWCNTs coated with phospholipid-polyethylene glycol (o-SWCNT-PEG) show exceptional potential, as they emit fluorescence at ∼1300 nm through excitation with 980 nm light. Here, with the aim of putting o-SWCNTs to practical use as an angiographic agent in animal experiments, the retention time after intravenous administration in the vasculature of mice and the biodistribution were studied. To provide bio affinity, the o-SWCNTs were coated with phospholipid polyethylene glycol. The intravenously injected o-SWCNT-PEG circulated within the vasculature for 3 h and cleared within 1 day. There was prominent fluorescence and Raman signals from the SWCNTs in the liver and spleen early in the experiment; the signals remained for 1 month. No apparent abnormalities in weight or appearance were observed after 2 months, suggesting low toxicity of o-SWCNT-PEG. These characteristics of o-SWCNT-PEG would make it useful as an angiographic imaging probe in the NIR-II wavelength range.