Multiplex bioimaging of single-cell spatial profiles for precision cancer diagnostics and therapeutics.
ABSTRACT: Cancers exhibit functional and structural diversity in distinct patients. In this mass, normal and malignant cells create tumor microenvironment that is heterogeneous among patients. A residue from primary tumors leaks into the bloodstream as cell clusters and single cells, providing clues about disease progression and therapeutic response. The complexity of these hierarchical microenvironments needs to be elucidated. Although tumors comprise ample cell types, the standard clinical technique is still the histology that is limited to a single marker. Multiplexed imaging technologies open new directions in pathology. Spatially resolved proteomic, genomic, and metabolic profiles of human cancers are now possible at the single-cell level. This perspective discusses spatial bioimaging methods to decipher the cascade of microenvironments in solid and liquid biopsies. A unique synthesis of top-down and bottom-up analysis methods is presented. Spatial multi-omics profiles can be tailored to precision oncology through artificial intelligence. Data-driven patient profiling enables personalized medicine and beyond.
Project description:Near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent probes are attractive molecular tools for bioimaging because of their low autofluorescence interference, deep tissue penetration, and minimal damage to sample. However, most previously reported NIR probes exhibit small Stokes shift, typically less than 30 nm, and low fluorescence quantum yield, strictly limited contrast and spatial resolution for bioimaging. Herein, by expanding the ?-conjugated system of rhodamine B, while, at the same time, keeping its rigid and planar structure, we reported an efficient NIR dye, HN7, with large stokes shift of 73 nm and fluorescence quantum yield as high as 0.72 in ethanol, values superior to those of such traditional cyanine NIR dyes as Cy5. Using HN7, living cells, tissues and mice were imaged, and the results showed significantly enhanced contrast, improved spatial resolution, and satisfactory tissue imaging depth when compared to Cy5. Moreover, the nonfluorescent spirocyclic structure of rhodamine B is an inherent component of HN7; therefore, our strategy provided a universal platform for the design of efficient NIR turn-on bioimaging probes for various targets. As a proof-of-concept, two different NIR probes, HN7-N2 and HN7-S for NO and Hg2+, respectively, were designed, synthesized, and successfully applied for the imaging of NO and Hg2+ in living cells, tissues and mice, respectively, demonstrating the potential bioimaging applications of the new probes. In sum, this new type of dye may present new avenues for the development of efficient NIR fluorescent probes for contrast-enhanced imaging in biological applications.
Project description:Cancer remains one of the most challenging diseases to treat. For accurate cancer diagnosis and targeted therapy, it is important to assess the localization of the affected area of cancers. The general approaches for cancer diagnostics include pathological assessments and imaging. However, these methods only generally assess the tumor area. In this study, by taking advantage of the unique microenvironment of cancers, we effectively utilize in situ self-assembled biosynthetic fluorescent gold nanocluster-DNA (GNC-DNA) complexes to facilitate safe and targeted cancer theranostics. In in vitro and in vivo tumor models, our self-assembling biosynthetic approach allowed for precise bioimaging and inhibited cancer growth after one injection of DNA and gold precursors. These results demonstrate that in situ bioresponsive self-assembling GNC-PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog) complexes could be an effective noninvasive technique for accurate cancer bioimaging and treatment, thus providing a safe and promising cancer theranostics platform for cancer therapy.
Project description:Recently, upconversion luminescence (UCL) has been widely applied in bioimaging due to its low autofluorescence and high contrast. However, a relatively high power density is still needed in conventional UCL bioimaging. In the present study, an ultralow power density light, as low as 0.06 mW cm-2, is applied as an excitation source for UCL bioimaging with PbS/CdS/ZnS quantum dots (UCL-QDs) as probes. The speculated UCL mechanism is a phonon-assisted single-photon process, and the relative quantum yield is up to 4.6%. As determined by continuous irradiation with a 980 nm laser, the UCL-QDs show excellent photostability. Furthermore, UCL-QDs-based probe is applied in tumor, blood vessel, and lymph node bioimaging excited with an eye-safe low-power light-emitting diode light in a nude mouse with few heat effects.
Project description:Luminescent nanomaterials have emerged as attractive candidates for sensing, catalysis and bioimaging applications in recent years. For practical use in bioimaging, nanomaterials with high photoluminescence, quantum yield, photostability and large Stokes shifts are needed. While offering high photoluminescence and quantum yield, semiconductor quantum dots suffer from toxicity and are susceptible to oxidation. In this context, atomically precise gold nanoclusters protected by thiol monolayers have emerged as a new class of luminescent nanomaterials. Low toxicity, bioavailability, photostability as well as tunable size, composition, and optoelectronic properties make them suitable for bioimaging and biosensing applications. In this review, an overview of the sensing of pathogens, and of in vitro and in vivo bioimaging using luminescent gold nanoclusters along with the limitations with selected examples are discussed.
Project description:Non-invasive monitoring of gastrointestinal drug release in vivo is extremely challenging because of the limited spatial resolution and long scanning time of existing bioimaging modalities, such as X-ray radiation and magnetic resonance. Here, we report a novel microcarrier that can retain drugs and withstand the harsh conditions of gastrointestinal tract. Significantly, we can track the microcarrier fate and semi-quantitatively monitor the content of drug released in vivo in real time by measuring the fluorescence signals in the second near-infrared window of lanthanide-based downconversion nanoparticles with an absorption competition-induced emission bioimaging system. The microcarriers show a prolonged residence time of up to 72?h in the gastrointestinal tract, releasing up to 62% of their content. Moreover, minimal deposition of the microcarriers is found in non-target organs, such as the liver, spleen and kidney. These findings provide novel insights for the development of therapeutic and bioimaging strategies of orally administered drugs.
Project description:I-motif DNAs have been widely employed as robust modulating components to construct reconfigurable DNA nanodevices that function well in acidic cellular environments. However, they generally display poor interactivity with fluorescent ligands under these complex conditions, illustrating a major difficulty in utilizing i-motifs as the light-up system for label-free DNA nanoassemblies and bioimaging. Towards addressing this challenge, here we devise new types of i-motif/miniduplex hybrid structures that display an unprecedentedly high interactivity with commonly-used benzothiazole dyes (e.g. thioflavin T). A well-chosen tetranucleotide, whose optimal sequence depends on the used ligand, is appended to the 5'-terminals of diverse i-motifs and forms a minimal parallel duplex thereby creating a preferential site for binding ligands, verified by molecular dynamics simulation. In this way, the fluorescence of ligands can be dramatically enhanced by the i-motif/miniduplex hybrids under complex physiological conditions. This provides a generic light-up system with a high signal-to-background ratio for programmable DNA nanoassemblies, illustrated through utilizing it for a pH-driven framework nucleic acid nanodevice manipulated in acidic cellular membrane microenvironments. It enables label-free fluorescence bioimaging in response to extracellular pH change.
Project description:Using bioimaging technology, biologists have attempted to identify and document analytical interpretations that underlie biological phenomena in biological cells. Theoretical biology aims at distilling those interpretations into knowledge in the mathematical form of biochemical reaction networks and understanding how higher level functions emerge from the combined action of biomolecules. However, there still remain formidable challenges in bridging the gap between bioimaging and mathematical modeling. Generally, measurements using fluorescence microscopy systems are influenced by systematic effects that arise from stochastic nature of biological cells, the imaging apparatus, and optical physics. Such systematic effects are always present in all bioimaging systems and hinder quantitative comparison between the cell model and bioimages. Computational tools for such a comparison are still unavailable. Thus, in this work, we present a computational framework for handling the parameters of the cell models and the optical physics governing bioimaging systems. Simulation using this framework can generate digital images of cell simulation results after accounting for the systematic effects. We then demonstrate that such a framework enables comparison at the level of photon-counting units.
Project description:This paper presents a new correlative bioimaging technique using Y2O3:Tm, Yb and Y2O3:Er, Yb nanophosphors (NPs) as imaging probes that emit luminescence excited by both near-infrared (NIR) light and an electron beam. Under 980?nm NIR light irradiation, the Y2O3:Tm, Yb and Y2O3:Er, Yb NPs emitted NIR luminescence (NIRL) around 810?nm and 1530?nm, respectively, and cathodoluminescence at 455?nm and 660?nm under excitation of accelerated electrons, respectively. Multimodalities of the NPs were confirmed in correlative NIRL/CL imaging and their locations were visualized at the same observation area in both NIRL and CL images. Using CL microscopy, the NPs were visualized at the single-particle level and with multicolour. Multiscale NIRL/CL bioimaging was demonstrated through in vivo and in vitro NIRL deep-tissue observations, cellular NIRL imaging, and high-spatial resolution CL imaging of the NPs inside cells. The location of a cell sheet transplanted onto the back muscle fascia of a hairy rat was visualized through NIRL imaging of the Y2O3:Er, Yb NPs. Accurate positions of cells through the thickness (1.5?mm) of a tissue phantom were detected by NIRL from the Y2O3:Tm, Yb NPs. Further, locations of the two types of NPs inside cells were observed using CL microscopy.
Project description:Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is advantageous over fluorescence for bioimaging due to ultra-narrow linewidth of the fingerprint spectrum and weak photo-bleaching effect. However, the existing SERS imaging speed lags far behind practical needs, mainly limited by Raman signals of SERS nanoprobes. In this work, we report ultrabright gap-enhanced Raman tags (GERTs) with strong electromagnetic hot spots from interior sub-nanometer gaps and external petal-like shell structures, larger immobilization surface area, and Raman cross section of reporter molecules. These GERTs reach a Raman enhancement factor beyond 5 × 109 and a detection sensitivity down to a single-nanoparticle level. We use a 370 μW laser to realize high-resolution cell imaging within 6 s and high-contrast (a signal-to-background ratio of 80) wide-area (3.2 × 2.8 cm2) sentinel lymph node imaging within 52 s. These nanoprobes offer a potential solution to overcome the current bottleneck in the field of SERS-based bioimaging.
Project description:Near-infrared (NIR) luminescent CuInS2-ZnS alloyed nanocrystals (CIZS-NCs) for highly fluorescence bioimaging have received considerable interest in recent years. Owing, they became a desirable alternative to heavy-metal based-NCs and organic dyes with unique optical properties and low-toxicity for bioimaging and optoelectronic applications. In the present study, bright and robust CIZS-NCs have been synthesized within 5?min, as-high-as 230?°C without requiring any inert-gas atmosphere via microwave-solvothermal (MW-ST) method. Subsequently, the in vitro and in vivo nano-xenotoxicity and cellular uptake of the MUA-functionalized CIZS-NCs were investigated in L929, Vero, MCF7 cell lines and zebrafish-embryos. We observed minimal toxicity and acute teratogenic consequences upto 62.5??g/ml of the CIZS-NCs in zebrafish-embryos. We also observed spontaneous uptake of the MUA-functionalized CIZS-NCs by 3?dpf older zebrafish-embryos that are evident through bright red fluorescence-emission at a low concentration of 7.8??g/mL. Hence, we propose that the rapid, low-cost, large-scale "sustainable" MW-ST synthesis of CIZS-NCs, is an ideal bio-nanoprobe with good temporal and spatial resolution for rapid labeling, long-term in vivo tracking and intravital-fluorescence-bioimaging (IVBI).