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The utilization of enzymes as triggering module could endow responsive polymeric nanostructures with selectivity in a site-specific manner. On the basis of the fact that endogenous NAD(P)
quinone oxidoreductase isozyme 1 (NQO1) is overexpressed in many types of tumors, we report on the fabrication of photosensitizer-conjugated polymeric vesicles, exhibiting synergistic NQO1-triggered turn-on of both near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence emission and photodynamic therapy (PDT) module. For vesicle self-assembled from amphiphilic block copolymers containing quinone trimethyl lock-capped self-immolative side linkages and quinone-bridged photosensitizers (coumarin and Nile blue) in the hydrophobic block, both fluorescence emission and PDT potency are initially in the "off" state due to "double quenching" effects, i.e., dye aggregation-caused quenching and quinone-rendered PET (photoinduced electron transfer) quenching. After internalization into NQO1-positive vesicles, cytosolic NQO1 enzyme triggers self-immolative cleavage of quinone linkages and fluorogenic release of conjugated photosensitizers, leading to NIR fluorescence emission turn-on and activated PDT. This process is accompanied with the transformation of vesicles into crosslinked micelles with hydrophilic cores and smaller sizes, and triggered dual drug release, which could be directly monitored by enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) imaging for vesicles conjugated with DOTA(Gd) complex in the hydrophobic bilayer. We further demonstrate that the above strategy could be successfully applied for activated NIR fluorescence imaging and tissue-specific PDT under both cellular and in vivo conditions.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: ACS nano
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The use of molecularly targeted imaging probes to localize and/or monitor biochemical and cellular processes via various imaging modalities that include RADIONUCLIDE IMAGING; ULTRASONOGRAPHY; MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING; fluorescence imaging; and MICROSCOPY.
Optical imaging techniques used for recording patterns of electrical activity in tissues by monitoring transmembrane potentials via FLUORESCENCE imaging with voltage-sensitive fluorescent dyes.
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The use of light interaction (scattering, absorption, and fluorescence) with biological tissue to obtain morphologically based information. It includes measuring inherent tissue optical properties such as scattering, absorption, and autofluorescence; or optical properties of exogenous targeted fluorescent molecular probes such as those used in optical MOLECULAR IMAGING, or nontargeted optical CONTRAST AGENTS.
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