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Functionalized NIR-II Semiconducting Polymer Nanoparticles for Single-Cell to Whole-Organ Imaging of PSMA-Positive Prostate Cancer

submitted on 21.12.2019, 19:46 and posted on 23.12.2019, 22:32 by Jiayingzi Wu, Hyeon-Jeong Lee, Liyan You, Xuyi Luo, Tsukasa Hasegawa, Kai-Chih Huang, Peng Lin, Timothy Ratliff, Minoru Ashizawa, Jianguo Mei, Ji-Xin Cheng

Development of specific molecular probes holds great promise for early diagnosis of aggressive prostate cancer (PCa). Here, 2-[3-(1,3-dicarboxypropyl) ureido] pentanedioic acid (DUPA)-conjugated ligand and bis-isoindigo-based polymer (BTII) are synthesized to formulate semiconducting polymer nanoparticles (BTII-DUPA SPN) as a prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-targeted probe for PCa imaging in the NIR-II window. Insights into the interaction of the imaging probes with the biological targets from single-cell to whole-organ levels are obtained by transient absorption microscopy (TAM) and photoacoustic tomography (PAT). The targeting mechanism, kinetics, and specificity of BTII-DUPA SPN to PSMA-positive PCa cells are revealed at cellular level with TAM. At the organ level, PAT imaging of BTII-DUPA SPN in the NIR-II window demonstrates superior penetration depth and imaging contrast. By intravenous administration, BTII-DUPA SPN demonstrates selective accumulation and retention in the PSMA-positive tumor, allowing noninvasive PAT detection of PSMA overexpressing PCa. The distribution of nanoparticles at tissue level is further analyzed through TAM. These results collectively demonstrate a new SPN for targeted cancer detection by TAM and PAT imaging.


Email Address of Submitting Author



Purdue University


United States

ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

no conflict of interest