Multicolor fluorescence imaging using a single RGB-IR CMOS sensor for cancer detection with smURFP-labeled probiotics.
ABSTRACT: A multicolor fluorescence imaging device was recently developed for image-guided surgery. However, conventional systems are typically bulky and function with two cameras. To overcome these issues, we developed an economical home-built fluorescence imaging device based on a single RGB-IR sensor that can acquire both color and fluorescence images simultaneously. The technical feasibility of RGB-IR imaging was verified ex vivo in chicken breast tissue using fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC), cyanine 5 (Cy5), and indocyanine green (ICG) as fluorescent agents. The minimum sensitivities for FITC, Cy5, and ICG were 0.200 µM, 0.130 µM, and 0.065 µM, respectively. In addition, we validated the fluorescence imaging of this device in vitro during a minimally invasive procedure using smURFP-labeled probiotics, which emit a spectrum similar to that of Cy5. Our preliminary study of the ex vivo tissue suggests that Cy5 and ICG are good candidates for deep tissue imaging. In addition, the tumor-specific amplification process was visualized using cancer cells incubated with probiotics that had been labeled with a fluorescent protein. Our approach indicates the potential for in vivo screening of tumors in rodent tumor models.
Project description:Fluorescence imaging is a method of real-time molecular tracking in vivo that has enabled many clinical technologies. Imaging in the shortwave IR (SWIR; 1,000-2,000 nm) promises higher contrast, sensitivity, and penetration depths compared with conventional visible and near-IR (NIR) fluorescence imaging. However, adoption of SWIR imaging in clinical settings has been limited, partially due to the absence of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved fluorophores with peak emission in the SWIR. Here, we show that commercially available NIR dyes, including the FDA-approved contrast agent indocyanine green (ICG), exhibit optical properties suitable for in vivo SWIR fluorescence imaging. Even though their emission spectra peak in the NIR, these dyes outperform commercial SWIR fluorophores and can be imaged in the SWIR, even beyond 1,500 nm. We show real-time fluorescence imaging using ICG at clinically relevant doses, including intravital microscopy, noninvasive imaging in blood and lymph vessels, and imaging of hepatobiliary clearance, and show increased contrast compared with NIR fluorescence imaging. Furthermore, we show tumor-targeted SWIR imaging with IRDye 800CW-labeled trastuzumab, an NIR dye being tested in multiple clinical trials. Our findings suggest that high-contrast SWIR fluorescence imaging can be implemented alongside existing imaging modalities by switching the detection of conventional NIR fluorescence systems from silicon-based NIR cameras to emerging indium gallium arsenide-based SWIR cameras. Using ICG in particular opens the possibility of translating SWIR fluorescence imaging to human clinical applications. Indeed, our findings suggest that emerging SWIR-fluorescent in vivo contrast agents should be benchmarked against the SWIR emission of ICG in blood.
Project description:Optical (molecular) imaging can benefit from a combination of the high signal-to-background ratio of activatable fluorescence imaging with the high specificity of luminescence lifetime imaging. To allow for this combination, both imaging techniques were integrated in a single imaging agent, a so-called activatable lifetime imaging agent. Important in the design of this imaging agent is the use of two luminophores that are tethered by a specific peptide with a hairpin-motive that ensured close proximity of the two while also having a specific amino acid sequence available for enzymatic cleavage by tumor-related MMP-2/9. Ir(ppy)3 and Cy5 were used because in close proximity the emission intensities of both luminophores were quenched and the influence of Cy5 shortens the Ir(ppy)3 luminescence lifetime from 98 ns to 30 ns. Upon cleavage in vitro, both effects are undone, yielding an increase in Ir(ppy)3 and Cy5 luminescence and a restoration of Ir(ppy)3 luminescence lifetime to 94 ns. As a reference for the luminescence activation, a similar imaging agent with the more common Cy3-Cy5 fluorophore pair was used. Our findings underline that the combination of enzymatic signal activation with lifetime imaging is possible and that it provides a promising method in the design of future disease specific imaging agents.
Project description:Near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence imaging clinical studies have been reported in the literature with six different devices that employ various doses of indocyanine green (ICG) as a non-specific contrast agent. To date, clinical applications range from (i) angiography, intraoperative assessment of vessel patency, and tumor/metastasis delineation following intravenous administration of ICG, and (ii) imaging lymphatic architecture and function following subcutaneous and intradermal ICG administration. In the latter case, NIR fluorescence imaging may enable new discoveries associated with lymphatic function due to (i) a unique niche that is not met by any other conventional imaging technology and (ii) its exquisite sensitivity enabling high spatial and temporal resolution. Herein, we (i) review the basics of clinical NIR fluorescence imaging, (ii) survey the literature on clinical application of investigational devices using ICG fluorescent contrast, (iii) provide an update of non-invasive dynamic lymphatic imaging conducted with our FDPM device, and finally, (iv) comment on the future NIR fluorescence imaging for non-invasive and intraoperative use given recent demonstrations showing capabilities for imaging following microdose administration of contrast agent.
Project description:Live-cell imaging allows the in vivo analysis of subcellular localisation dynamics of physiological processes with high spatial-temporal resolution. However, only few fluorescent dyes have been custom-designed to facilitate species-specific live-cell imaging approaches in filamentous fungi to date. Therefore, we developed fluorescent dye conjugates based on the sophisticated iron acquisition system of Aspergillus fumigatus by chemical modification of the siderophore triacetylfusarinine C (TAFC). Various fluorophores (FITC, NBD, Ocean Blue, BODIPY 630/650, SiR, TAMRA and Cy5) were conjugated to diacetylfusarinine C (DAFC). Gallium-68 labelling enabled in vitro and in vivo characterisations. LogD, uptake assays and growth assays were performed and complemented by live-cell imaging in different Aspergillus species. Siderophore conjugates were specifically recognised by the TAFC transporter MirB and utilized as an iron source in growth assays. Fluorescence microscopy revealed uptake dynamics and differential subcellular accumulation patterns of all compounds inside fungal hyphae.[Fe]DAFC-NBD and -Ocean Blue accumulated in vacuoles, whereas [Fe]DAFC-BODIPY, -SiR and -Cy5 localised to mitochondria. [Fe]DAFC -FITC showed a uniform cytoplasmic distribution, whereas [Fe]DAFC-TAMRA was not internalised at all. Co-staining experiments with commercially available fluorescent dyes confirmed these findings. Overall, we developed a new class of fluorescent dyes that vary in intracellular fungal targeting , thereby providing novel tools for live-cell imaging applications for Aspergillus fumigatus.
Project description:Dendrimers are being explored in many preclinical studies as drug, gene, and imaging agent delivery systems. Understanding their detailed organ, tissue, cellular uptake, and retention can provide valuable insights into their effectiveness as delivery vehicles and the associated toxicity. This work explores a fluorescence-quantification based assay that enables simultaneous quantitative biodistribution and imaging of dendrimers with a single agent. We have labeled an ethylenediamine-core generation-4 hydroxyl-terminated poly(amidoamine) (PAMAM) dendrimer using the fluorescent photostable, near-IR cyanine dye (Cy5) and performed quantitative and qualitative biodistribution of the dendrimer-Cy5 conjugates (D-Cy5) in healthy neonatal rabbits and neonatal rabbits with cerebral palsy (CP). The biodistribution of D-Cy5 and free Cy5 dye was evaluated in newborn rabbits, based on the developed quantification methods using fluorescence spectroscopy, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and size exclusion chromatography (SEC) and supported by microscopic imaging. The uptake was assessed in the brain, heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, blood serum, and urine. Results obtained based on these three independent methods are in good agreement and indicate the fast renal clearance of D-Cy5 and free Cy5 with relatively higher organs accumulation of the D-Cy5 conjugate. Following systemic administration, the D-Cy5 mainly accumulated in kidneys and bladder at 24 h. The quantitative biodistribution is in good agreement with previous studies based on radiolabeling. These methods for dendrimers quantification are easier and more practical, provide excellent sensitivity (reaching 0.1 ng per gram of tissue), and allow for quantification of dendrimers in different organs over longer time periods without concerns for radioactive decay, while also enabling tissue and cellular imaging in the same animal. In kits with fetal-neuroinflammation induced CP, there was a significantly higher uptake of D-Cy5 in the brain, while biodistribution in other organs was similar to that of healthy kits.
Project description:Podoplanin is distinctively overexpressed in oral squamous cell carcinoma than oral benign neoplasms and plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis and metastasis of oral squamous cell carcinoma but its diagnostic application is quite limited. Here, we report a new near-infrared fluorescence imaging method using an indocyanine green (ICG)-labeled anti-podoplanin antibody and a desktop/a handheld ICG detection device for the visualization of oral squamous cell carcinoma-xenografted tumors in nude mice. Both near-infrared imaging methods using a desktop (in vivo imaging system: IVIS) and a handheld device (photodynamic eye: PDE) successfully detected oral squamous cell carcinoma tumors in nude mice in a podoplanin expression-dependent manner with comparable sensitivity. Of these 2 devices, only near-infrared imaging methods using a handheld device visualized oral squamous cell carcinoma xenografts in mice in real time. Furthermore, near-infrared imaging methods using the handheld device (PDE) could detect smaller podoplanin-positive oral squamous cell carcinoma tumors than a non-near-infrared, autofluorescence-based imaging method. Based on these results, a near-infrared imaging method using an ICG-labeled anti-podoplanin antibody and a handheld detection device (PDE) allows the sensitive, semiquantitative, and real-time imaging of oral squamous cell carcinoma tumors and therefore represents a useful tool for the detection and subsequent monitoring of malignant oral neoplasms in both preclinical and some clinical settings.
Project description:Currently most of the fluorogenic probes are designed for the detection of enzymes which work by converting the non-fluorescence substrate into the fluorescence product via an enzymatic reaction. On the other hand, the design of fluorogenic probes for non-enzymatic proteins remains a great challenge. Herein, we report a general strategy to create near-IR fluorogenic probes, where a small molecule ligand is conjugated to a novel ?-phenyl-substituted Cy5 fluorophore, for the selective detection of proteins through a non-enzymatic process. Detail mechanistic studies reveal that the probes self-assemble to form fluorescence-quenched J-type aggregate. In the presence of target analyte, bright fluorescence in the near-IR region is emitted through the recognition-induced disassembly of the probe aggregate. This Cy5 fluorophore is a unique self-assembly/disassembly dye as it gives remarkable fluorescence enhancement. Based on the same design, three different fluorogenic probes were constructed and one of them was applied for the no-wash imaging of tumor cells for the detection of hypoxia-induced cancer-specific biomarker, transmembrane-type carbonic anhydrase IX.
Project description:BACKGROUND: In clinical diagnostics, as well as in routine dermatology, the increased need for non-invasive diagnosis is currently satisfied by reflectance laser scanning microscopy. However, this technique has some limitations as it relies solely on differences in the reflection properties of epidermal and dermal structures. To date, the superior method of fluorescence laser scanning microscopy is not generally applied in dermatology and predominantly restricted to fluorescein as fluorescent tracer, which has a number of limitations. Therefore, we searched for an alternative fluorophore matching a novel skin imaging device to advance this promising diagnostic approach. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using a Vivascope®-1500 Multilaser microscope, we found that the fluorophore Indocyanine-Green (ICG) is well suited as a fluorescent marker for skin imaging in vivo after intradermal injection. ICG is one of few fluorescent dyes approved for use in humans. Its fluorescence properties are compatible with the application of a near-infrared laser, which penetrates deeper into the tissue than the standard 488 nm laser for fluorescein. ICG-fluorescence turned out to be much more stable than fluorescein in vivo, persisting for more than 48 hours without significant photobleaching whereas fluorescein fades within 2 hours. The well-defined intercellular staining pattern of ICG allows automated cell-recognition algorithms, which we accomplished with the free software CellProfiler, providing the possibility of quantitative high-content imaging. Furthermore, we demonstrate the superiority of ICG-based fluorescence microscopy for selected skin pathologies, including dermal nevi, irritant contact dermatitis and necrotic skin. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results introduce a novel in vivo skin imaging technique using ICG, which delivers a stable intercellular fluorescence signal ideal for morphological assessment down to sub-cellular detail. The application of ICG in combination with the near infrared laser opens new ways for minimal-invasive diagnosis and monitoring of skin disorders.
Project description:Fluorescence imaging in the second near-infrared window (NIR-II) holds promise for real-time deep tissue imaging. In this work, we investigated the NIR-II fluorescence properties of a liposomal formulation of indocyanine green (ICG), a FDA-approved dye that was recently shown to exhibit NIR-II fluorescence. Fluorescence spectra of liposomal-ICG were collected in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) and plasma. Imaging studies in an Intralipid® phantom were performed to determine penetration depth. In vivo imaging studies were performed to test real-time visualization of vascular structures in the hind limb and intracranial regions. Free ICG, NIR-I imaging, and cross-sectional imaging modalities (MRI and CT) were used as comparators. Fluorescence spectra demonstrated the strong NIR-II fluorescence of liposomal-ICG, similar to free ICG in plasma. In vitro studies demonstrated superior performance of liposomal-ICG over free ICG for NIR-II imaging of deep (?4?mm) vascular mimicking structures. In vivo, NIR-II fluorescence imaging using liposomal-ICG resulted in significantly (p?<?0.05) higher contrast-to-noise ratio compared to free ICG for extended periods of time, allowing visualization of hind limb and intracranial vasculature for up to 4?hours post-injection. In vivo comparisons demonstrated higher vessel conspicuity with liposomal-ICG-enhanced NIR-II imaging compared to NIR-I imaging.
Project description:Lymphatic vessels play a major role in cancer progression and in postsurgical lymphedema, and several new therapeutic approaches targeting lymphatics are currently being developed. Thus, there is a critical need for quantitative imaging methods to measure lymphatic flow. Indocyanine green (ICG) has been used for optical imaging of the lymphatic system, but it is unstable in solution and may rapidly enter venous capillaries after local injection. We developed a novel liposomal formulation of ICG (LP-ICG), resulting in vastly improved stability in solution and an increased fluorescence signal with a shift toward longer wavelength absorption and emission. When injected intradermally to mice, LP-ICG was specifically taken up by lymphatic vessels and allowed improved visualization of deep lymph nodes. In a genetic mouse model of lymphatic dysfunction, injection of LP-ICG showed no enhancement of draining lymph nodes and slower clearance from the injection site. In mice bearing B16 luciferase-expressing melanomas expressing vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C), sequential near-IR imaging of intradermally injected LP-ICG enabled quantification of lymphatic flow. Increased flow through draining lymph nodes was observed in mice bearing VEGF-C-expressing tumors without metastases, whereas a decreased flow pattern was seen in mice with a higher lymph node tumor burden. This new method will likely facilitate quantitative studies of lymphatic function in preclinical investigations and may also have potential for imaging of lymphedema or improved sentinel lymph detection in cancer.