Near-infrared fluorescence: application to in vivo molecular imaging

Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2010 Feb;14(1):71-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2009.09.029. Epub 2009 Oct 30.


Molecular imaging often relies on the use of targeted and activatable reporters to quantitate and visualize targets, biological processes, and cells in vivo. The use of optical probes with near-infrared fluorescence allows for improved photon penetration through tissue and minimizes the effects of tissue autofluorescence. There are several parameters that define the effectiveness of imaging agents in vivo. These factors include probe targeting, activation, pharmacokinetics, biocompatibility, and photophysics. Recent advances in our understanding of these variables as they pertain to the application of optical reporters for in vivo imaging are discussed in this review.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fluorescence*
  • Fluorescent Dyes* / chemistry
  • Fluorescent Dyes* / pharmacokinetics
  • Fluorescent Dyes* / toxicity
  • Humans
  • Molecular Imaging / methods*
  • Proteins / chemistry
  • Quantum Dots
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Proteins