Indocyanine green-loaded nanoparticles for image-guided tumor surgery

Tanner K. Hill, Asem Abdulahad, Sneha S. Kelkar, Frank C. Marini, Timothy E. Long, James M. Provenzale, Aaron M. Mohs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Detecting positive tumor margins and local malignant masses during surgery is critical for long-term patient survival. The use of image-guided surgery for tumor removal, particularly with near-infrared fluorescent imaging, is a potential method to facilitate removing all neoplastic tissue at the surgical site. In this study we demonstrate a series of hyaluronic acid (HLA)-derived nanoparticles that entrap the near-infrared dye indocyanine green, termed NanoICG, for improved delivery of the dye to tumors. Self-assembly of the nanoparticles was driven by conjugation of one of three hydrophobic moieties: aminopropyl-1-pyrenebutanamide (PBA), aminopropyl-5β-cholanamide (5βCA), or octadecylamine (ODA). Nanoparticle self-assembly, dye loading, and optical properties were characterized. NanoICG exhibited quenched fluorescence that could be activated by disassembly in a mixed solvent. NanoICG was found to be nontoxic at physiologically relevant concentrations and exposure was not found to inhibit cell growth. Using an MDA-MB-231 tumor xenograft model in mice, strong fluorescence enhancement in tumors was observed with NanoICG using a fluorescence image-guided surgery system and a whole-animal imaging system. Tumor contrast with NanoICG was significantly higher than with ICG alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-303
Number of pages10
JournalBioconjugate Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 18 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Organic Chemistry


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