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High-precision tumor resection down to few-cell level guided

The date of: 2022-04-06
viewed: 1
High-precision tumor resection down to few-cell level guided by NIR-IIb molecular fluorescence imaging



Surgical removal of tumors has been performed to combat cancer for over a century by surgeons relying on visual inspection and experience to identify margins between malignant and healthy tissues. Herein, we present a rare-earth down-conversion nanoparticle–anti-CD105 conjugate for cancer targeting and a handheld imager capable of concurrent photographic imaging and fluorescence/luminescence imaging. An unprecedented tumor-to-muscle ratio was achieved by near-infrared-IIb (NIR-IIb, 1,500 to 1,700 nm) imaging during surgery, ∼100 times higher than previous organic dyes for unambiguous determination of tumor margin. The sensitivity/biocompatibility/safety of the probes and instrumentation developed here open a paradigm of imaging-guided surgery at the single-cell level, meeting all major requirements for clinical translation to combat cancer and save human lives.

In vivo fluorescence/luminescence imaging in the near-infrared-IIb (NIR-IIb, 1,500 to 1,700 nm) window under<1,000 nm excitation can afford subcentimeter imaging depth without any tissue autofluorescence, promising high-precision intraoperative navigation in the clinic. Here, we developed a compact imager for concurrent visible photographic and NIR-II (1,000 to 3,000 nm) fluorescence imaging for preclinical image-guided surgery. Biocompatible erbium-based rare-earth nanoparticles (ErNPs) with bright down-conversion luminescence in the NIR-IIb window were conjugated to TRC105 antibody for molecular imaging of CD105 angiogenesis markers in 4T1 murine breast tumors. Under a ∼940 ± 38 nm light-emitting diode (LED) excitation, NIR-IIb imaging of 1,500- to 1,700-nm emission afforded noninvasive tumor–to–normal tissue (T/NT) signal ratios of ∼40 before surgery and an ultrahigh intraoperative tumor-to-muscle (T/M) ratio of ∼300, resolving tumor margin unambiguously without interfering background signal from surrounding healthy tissues. High-resolution imaging resolved small numbers of residual cancer cells during surgery, allowing thorough and nonexcessive tumor removal at the few-cell level. NIR-IIb molecular imaging afforded 10-times-higher and 100-times-higher T/NT and T/M ratios, respectively, than imaging with IRDye800CW-TRC105 in the ∼900- to 1,300-nm range. The vastly improved resolution of tumor margin and diminished background open a paradigm of molecular imaging-guided surgery.

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