Two new "protected" oxyphors for biological oximetry: properties and application in tumor imaging.
ABSTRACT: We report the synthesis, calibration, and examples of application of two new phosphorescent probes, Oxyphor R4 and Oxyphor G4, optimized specifically for in vivo oxygen imaging by phosphorescence quenching. These "protected" dendritic probes can operate in either albumin-rich (blood plasma) or albumin-free (interstitial space) environments at all physiological oxygen concentrations, from normoxic to deep hypoxic conditions. Oxyphors R4 and G4 are derived from phosphorescent Pd-meso-tetra-(3,5-dicarboxyphenyl)-porphyrin (PdP) or Pd-meso-tetra-(3,5-dicarboxyphenyl)-tetrabenzoporphyrin (PdTBP), respectively, and possess features common for protected dendritic probes, i.e., hydrophobic dendritic encapsulation of phosphorescent metalloporphyrins and hydrophilic PEGylated periphery. The new Oxyphors are highly soluble in aqueous environments and do not permeate biological membranes. The probes were calibrated under physiological conditions (pH 6.4-7.8) and temperatures (22-38 °C), showing high stability, reproducibility of signals, and lack of interactions with biological solutes. Oxyphor G4 was used to dynamically image intravascular and interstitial oxygenation in murine tumors in vivo. The physiological relevance of the measurements was demonstrated by dynamically recording changes in tissue oxygenation during application of anesthesia (isofluorane). These experiments revealed that changes in isofluorane concentration significantly affect tissue oxygenation.
Project description:We have developed a digital light modulation system that utilizes a modified commercial projector equipped with a laser diode as a light source for quantitative measurements of in vivo tissue oxygenation in an unanesthetized zebrafish embryo via phase-based phosphorescence lifetime detection. The oxygen-sensitive phosphorescent probe (Oxyphor G4) was first inoculated into the bloodstream of 48 h post-fertilization (48 hpf) zebrafish embryos via the circulation valley to rapidly disperse probes throughout the embryo. The unanesthetized zebrafish embryo was introduced into the microfluidic device and immobilized on its lateral side by using a pneumatically actuated membrane. By controlling the illumination pattern on the digital micromirror device in the projector, the modulated excitation light can be spatially projected to illuminate arbitrarily-shaped regions of tissue of interest for in vivo oxygen measurements. We have successfully measured in vivo oxygen changes in the cardiac region and cardinal vein of a 48 hpf zebrafish embryo that experience hypoxia and subsequent normoxic conditions. Our proposed platform provides the potential for the real-time investigation of oxygen distribution in tissue microvasculature that relates to physiological stimulation and diseases in a developing organism.
Project description:Quantitative imaging of oxygen distributions in tissue can provide invaluable information about metabolism in normal and diseased states. Two-photon phosphorescence lifetime microscopy (2PLM) has been developed to perform measurements of oxygen in vivo with micron-scale resolution in 3D; however, the method's potential has not yet been fully realized due to the limitations of current phosphorescent probe technology. Here, we report a new sensor, Oxyphor 2P, that enables oxygen microscopy twice as deep (up to 600 ?m below the tissue surface) and with ?60 times higher speed than previously possible. Oxyphor 2P allows longitudinal oxygen measurements without having to inject the probe directly into the imaged region. As proof of principle, we monitored oxygen dynamics for days following micro-stroke induced by occlusion of a single capillary in the mouse brain. Oxyphor 2P opens up new possibilities for studies of tissue metabolic states using 2PLM in a wide range of biomedical research areas.
Project description:Tissue oxygenation is one of the key determining factors in bone repair and bone tissue engineering. Adequate tissue oxygenation is essential for survival and differentiation of the bone-forming cells and ultimately the success of bone tissue regeneration. Two-photon phosphorescence lifetime microscopy (2PLM) has been successfully applied in the past to image oxygen distributions in tissue with high spatial resolution. However, delivery of phosphorescent probes into avascular compartments, such as those formed during early bone defect healing, poses significant problems. Here, we report a multifunctional oxygen-reporting fibrous matrix fabricated through encapsulation of a hydrophilic oxygen-sensitive, two-photon excitable phosphorescent probe, PtP-C343, in the core of fibers during coaxial electrospinning. The oxygen-sensitive fibers support bone marrow stromal cell growth and differentiation and at the same time enable real-time high-resolution probing of partial pressures of oxygen via 2PLM. The hydrophilicity of the probe facilitates its gradual release into the nearby microenvironment, allowing fibers to act as a vehicle for probe delivery into the healing tissue. In conjunction with a cranial defect window chamber model, which permits simultaneous imaging of the bone and neovasculature in vivo via two-photon laser scanning microscopy, the oxygen-reporting fibers provide a useful tool for minimally invasive, high-resolution, real-time 3D mapping of tissue oxygenation during bone defect healing, facilitating studies aimed at understanding the healing process and advancing design of tissue-engineered constructs for enhanced bone repair and regeneration.
Project description:Recent development of two-photon phosphorescence lifetime microscopy (2PLM) of oxygen enabled first noninvasive high-resolution measurements of tissue oxygenation in vivo in 3D, providing valuable physiological information. The so far developed two-photon-enhanced phosphorescent probes comprise antenna-core constructs, in which two-photon absorbing chromophores (antenna) capture and channel excitation energy to a phosphorescent core (metalloporphyrin) via intramolecular excitation energy transfer (EET). These probes allowed demonstration of the methods' potential; however, they suffer from a number of limitations, such as partial loss of emissivity to competing triplet state deactivation pathways (e.g., electron transfer) and suboptimal sensitivity to oxygen, thereby limiting spatial and temporal resolution of the method. Here we present a new probe, PtTCHP-C307, designed to overcome these limitations. The key improvements include significant increase in the phosphorescence quantum yield, higher efficiency of the antenna-core energy transfer, minimized quenching of the phosphorescence by electron transfer and increased signal dynamic range. For the same excitation flux, the new probe is able to produce up to 6-fold higher signal output than previously reported molecules. Performance of PtTCHP-C307 was demonstrated in vivo in pO2 measurements through the intact mouse skull into the bone marrow, where all blood cells are made from hematopoietic stem cells.
Project description:In contrast to traditional short-lived fluorescent probes, long-lived phosphorescent probes based on transition-metal complexes can effectively eliminate unwanted background interference by using time-resolved luminescence imaging techniques, such as photoluminescence lifetime imaging microscopy. Hence, phosphorescent probes have become one of the most attractive candidates for investigating biological events in living systems. However, most of them are based on single emission intensity changes, which might be affected by a variety of intracellular environmental factors. Ratiometric measurement allows simultaneous recording of two separated wavelengths instead of measuring mere intensity changes and thus offers built-in correction for environmental effects. Herein, for the first time, a soft salt based phosphorescent probe has been developed for ratiometric and lifetime imaging of intracellular pH variations in real time. Specifically, a pH sensitive cationic complex (C1) and a pH insensitive anionic complex (A1) are directly connected through electrostatic interaction to form a soft salt based probe (S1), which exhibits a ratiometric phosphorescent response to pH with two well-resolved emission peaks separated by about 150 nm (from 475 to 625 nm). This novel probe was then successfully applied for ratiometric and lifetime imaging of intracellular pH variations. Moreover, quantitative measurements of intracellular pH fluctuations caused by oxidative stress have been performed for S1 based on the pH-dependent calibration curve.
Project description:Hypoxia is an important characteristic of malignant solid tumors and is considered as a possible causative factor for serious resistance to chemo- and radiotherapy. The exploration of novel fluorescent probes capable of detecting hypoxia in solid tumors will aid tumor diagnosis and treatment. In this study, we reported the design and synthesis of a series of "off-on" phosphorescence probes for hypoxia detection in adherent and three-dimensional multicellular spheroid models. All of the iridium(III) complexes incorporate an azo group as an azo-reductase reactive moiety to detect hypoxia. Reduction of non-phosphorescent probes Ir1-Ir8 by reductases under hypoxic conditions resulted in the generation of highly phosphorescent corresponding amines for detection of hypoxic regions. Moreover, these probes can penetrate into 3D multicellular spheroids over 100 ?m and image the hypoxic regions. Most importantly, these probes display a high selectivity for the detection of hypoxia in 2D cells and 3D multicellular spheroids.
Project description:The G-quadruplex (G4) structures of nucleic acids are considered to play an intrinsic role in gene expression. To this end, the development of new G4 ligands has attracted extensive research interests towards potential applications as G4-targeted drugs and molecular probes. To date, the majority of G4 ligands have been composed of an extended planar aromatic scaffold that interacts with the terminal G-tetrad plane via ?-? interactions, and various side chains that interact with the sugar-phosphate backbone, loops or grooves of the G4 structures. The side chains act to modulate the affinity and selectivity of the G4 ligands, alongside influencing their biodistribution. Here, we present a click chemistry methodology to generate a series of squaraine-based G4 ligand derivatives based on our previously reported G4 probe (named CSTS) but with varing side chains. We find that importantly these new G4 ligand derivatives retain the G4 selectivity, optical properties and low cytotoxicity of CSTS, but exhibit different binding behaviors to G4 structures, and distinct cellular uptake efficiencies. Indeed, of these new complexes, several exhibit much higher affinity and cellular uptake than CSTS. Overall, this novel, facile and highly effective strategy has significant future potential for the high-throughput screening of G4 ligands or probes targeted towards in vivo applications.
Project description:Core microRNA (miRNA) sequences exist as populations of variants called isomiRs made up of different lengths and nucleotide compositions. In particular, the short sequences of miRNA make single-base isomiR mismatches very difficult to be discriminated. Non-specific hybridizations often arise when DNA probe-miRNA target hybridization is the primary, or initial, mode of detection. These errors then become exacerbated through subsequent amplification steps. Here, we present the design of DNA probes modified with poly-guanine (PG) tracts that were induced to form G-quadruplexes (G4) for hi-fidelity discrimination of miRNA core target sequence from single-base mismatched isomiRs. We demonstrate that, when compared to unmodified probes, this G4 'gate-keeping' function within the G4-modified probes enables more stringent hybridization of complementary core miRNA target transcripts while limiting non-specific hybridizations. This increased discriminatory power of the G4-modified probes over unmodified probes is maintained even after further reverse transcriptase extension of probe-target hybrids. Enzymatic extension also enhanced the clarity and sensitivity of readouts and allows different isomiRs to be distinguished from one another via the relative positions of the mismatches.
Project description:Oxygen levels in biological systems can be measured by the phosphorescence quenching method using probes with controllable quenching parameters and defined biodistributions. We describe a general approach to the construction of phosphorescent nanosensors with tunable spectral characteristics, variable degrees of quenching, and a high selectivity for oxygen. The probes are based on bright phosphorescent Pt and Pd complexes of porphyrins and symmetrically pi-extended porphyrins (tetrabenzoporphyrins and tetranaphthoporphyrins). pi-Extension of the core macrocycle allows tuning of the spectral parameters of the probes in order to meet the requirements of a particular imaging application (e.g., oxygen tomography versus planar microscopic imaging). Metalloporphyrins are encapsulated into poly(arylglycine) dendrimers, which fold in aqueous environments and create diffusion barriers for oxygen, making it possible to regulate the sensitivity and the dynamic range of the method. The periphery of the dendrimers is modified with poly(ethylene glycol) residues, which enhance the probe's solubility, diminish toxicity, and help prevent interactions of the probes with the biological environment. The probe's parameters were measured under physiological conditions and shown to be unaffected by the presence of biomacromolecules. The performance of the probes was demonstrated in applications, including in vivo microscopy of vascular pO(2) in the rat brain.
Project description:A series of ?-extended phosphorescent palladium(II) and platinum(II) porphyrin complexes were synthesized, in which additional benzene rings are fused radially onto at least one of the four peripheral benzo groups. The photophysical properties of the metalloporphyrins palladium(II)-meso-tetra-(4-fluorophenyl)mononaphthotribenzoporphyrin (Pd1NF), cis-palladium(II)-meso-tetra-(4-fluorophenyl)dibenzodinaphthoporphyrin (Pd2NF), and palladium(II)-meso-tetra-(4-fluorophenyl)monobenzotrinaphthoporphyrin (Pd3NF) and the corresponding platinum(II) compounds (Pt1NF, cis-Pt2NF, Pt3NF) were investigated. The compounds under investigation absorb intensively in the near-infrared region (628-691 nm) and emit at room temperature at 815-882 nm. Phosphorescence quantum yields of the platinum(II) porphyrins range from 25 to 53% with luminescence decay times of 21 to 44 ?s in deoxygenated toluene solutions at room temperature. The corresponding palladium(II) complexes exhibit quantum yields in the range of 7 to 18% with lifetimes of 106 to 206 ?s. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations revealed nonplanar geometries for all complexes and corroborate the absorption characteristics. The subsequent ? extension of the porphyrin system leads to near-infrared absorbing oxygen indicators with tailor-made luminescence properties as well as tunable oxygen sensitivity.