A carbohydrate-grafted nanovesicle with activatable optical and acoustic contrasts for dual modality high performance tumor imaging†
Activatable molecular systems enabling precise tumor localization are valuable for complete tumor resection. Herein, we report sialic acid-capped polymeric nanovesicles encapsulating the near infrared profluorophore (pNIR@P@SA) for lysosome activation based dual modality tumor imaging. The probe features surface-anchored sialic acid for tumor targeting and a core of near infrared profluorophore (pNIR) which undergoes lysosomal acidity triggered isomerization to give optical and optoacoustic signals upon cell internalization. Imaging studies reveal high-efficiency uptake and signal activation of pNIR@P@SA in subcutaneous tumors and millimeter-sized liver tumor foci in mice. The high tumor-to-healthy organ signal contrasts and discernment of tiny liver tumors from normal liver tissues validate the potential of pNIR@P@SA for high performance optical and optoacoustic imaging guided tumor resection.