Indocyanine green loaded hyaluronan-derived nanoparticles for fluorescence-enhanced surgical imaging of pancreatic cancer

Bowen Qi, Ayrianne J. Crawford, Nicholas E. Wojtynek, Megan B. Holmes, Joshua J. Souchek, Graca Almeida-Porada, Quan P. Ly, Samuel M. Cohen, Michael A. Hollingsworth, Aaron M. Mohs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is highly lethal and surgical resection is the only potential curative treatment for the disease. In this study, hyaluronic acid derived nanoparticles with physico-chemically entrapped indocyanine green, termed NanoICG, were utilized for intraoperative near infrared fluorescence detection of pancreatic cancer. NanoICG was not cytotoxic to healthy pancreatic epithelial cells and did not induce chemotaxis or phagocytosis, it accumulated significantly within the pancreas in an orthotopic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma model, and demonstrated contrast-enhancement for pancreatic lesions relative to non-diseased portions of the pancreas. Fluorescence microscopy showed higher fluorescence intensity in pancreatic lesions and splenic metastases due to NanoICG compared to ICG alone. The in vivo safety profile of NanoICG, including, biochemical, hematological, and pathological analysis of NanoICG-treated healthy mice, indicates negligible toxicity. These results suggest that NanoICG is a promising contrast agent for intraoperative detection of pancreatic tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)769-780
Number of pages12
JournalNanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Fluorescence image-guided surgery
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Indocyanine green
  • Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
  • Splenic metastasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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