Image-guided tumor surgery: will there be a role for fluorescent nanoparticles?

Tanner K. Hill, Aaron M. Mohs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Image-guided surgery (IGS) using fluorescent nanoparticles (NPs) has the potential to substantially impact patient treatment. The use of fluorescence imaging provides surgeons with real-time feedback on the location of diseased tissue using safe, low-cost imaging agents and instrumentation. Fluorescent NPs are likely to play a role as they are capable of taking advantage of the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect and can be modified to avoid clearance, increase circulation time, and specifically target tumors. Clinical trials of IGS using the FDA-approved fluorophores indocyanine green and methylene blue have already shown preliminary successes, and incorporation of fluorescent NPs will likely improve detection by providing higher signal to background ratio and reducing false-positive rates through active targeting. Preclinical development of fluorescent NP formulations is advancing rapidly, with strategies ranging from passive targeting to active targeting of cell surface receptors, creating pH-responsive NPs, and increasing cell uptake through cleavable proteins. This collective effort could lead to clinical trials using fluorescent NPs in the near future. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol 2016, 8:498–511. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1381. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)498-511
Number of pages14
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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