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Title: Nanoparticles with ultrasound-induced afterglow luminescence for tumour-specific theranostics
Authors: Xu, Cheng
Huang, Jingsheng
Jiang, Yuyan
He, Shasha
Zhang, Chi
Pu, Kanyi
Keywords: Engineering::Chemical technology
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Xu, C., Huang, J., Jiang, Y., He, S., Zhang, C. & Pu, K. (2022). Nanoparticles with ultrasound-induced afterglow luminescence for tumour-specific theranostics. Nature Biomedical Engineering.
Project: NRF-NRFI07-2021-0005 
Journal: Nature Biomedical Engineering 
Abstract: Molecular imaging via afterglow luminescence minimizes tissue autofluorescence and increases the signal-to-noise ratio. However, the induction of afterglow requires the prior irradiation of light, which is attenuated by scattering and absorption in tissue. Here we report the development of organic nanoparticles producing ultrasound-induced afterglow, and their proof-of-concept application in cancer immunotheranostics. The 'sonoafterglow' nanoparticles comprise a sonosensitizer acting as an initiator to produce singlet oxygen and subsequently activate a substrate for the emission of afterglow luminescence, which is brighter and detectable at larger tissue depths (4 cm) than previously reported light-induced afterglow. We formulated sonoafterglow nanoparticles containing a singlet-oxygen-cleavable prodrug for the immune-response modifier imiquimod that specifically turn on in the presence of the inflammation biomarker peroxynitrite, which is overproduced by tumour-associated M1-like macrophages. Systemic delivery of the nanoparticles allowed for sonoafterglow-guided treatment of mice bearing subcutaneous breast cancer tumours. The high sensitivity and depth of molecular sonoafterglow imaging may offer advantages for the real-time in vivo monitoring of physiopathological processes.
ISSN: 2157-846X
DOI: 10.1038/s41551-022-00978-z
Schools: Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine) 
School of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology 
Rights: © 2022 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited. All rights reserved. This version of the article has been accepted for publication, after peer review and is subject to Springer Nature’s AM terms of use, but is not the Version of Record and does not reflect post-acceptance improvements, or any corrections. The Version of Record is available online at:
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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