Cucurbituril-based polymer nanocapsules as a non-covalent and modular bioimaging platform for multimodal in vivo imaging†
Cucurbituril (CB)-based polymer nanocapsules (CBPNs) were used as a multimodal platform for cancer-targeted in vivo bioimaging. By taking advantage of the strong and robust host–guest interaction between CB and spermidine (spmd) under in vivo conditions, the surface of the CBPNs was non-covalently modified with various spmd-conjugated functionalities in a modular manner. The CBPNs modified with imaging probes and targeting ligands showed tumor targeted PET and NIR imaging in mice. This proof of concept demonstrates the potential of non-covalently modified nanomaterials in real world in vivo systems.