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, 6 (9), 7820-31

Near-infrared Emitting Polymer Nanogels for Efficient Sentinel Lymph Node Mapping


Near-infrared Emitting Polymer Nanogels for Efficient Sentinel Lymph Node Mapping

Young-Woock Noh et al. ACS Nano.


Sentinel lymph node (SLN) mapping has been widely used to predict the metastatic spread of primary tumor to regional lymph nodes in clinical practice. In this research, a new near-infrared (NIR)-emitting polymer nanogel (NIR-PNG) having a hydrodynamic diameter of about 30 nm, which is optimal for lymph node uptake, was developed. The NIR-emitting polymer nanoprobes were designed and synthesized by conjugating IRDye800 organic dye to biodegradable pullulan-cholesterol polymer nanogels. The NIR-PNG nanoprobes were found to be photostable compared with the IRDye800-free dye at room temperature. Upon intradermal injection of the NIR-PNG into the front paw of a mouse, the nanoprobes entered the lymphatic system and migrated to the axillary lymph node within 2 min. The NIR fluorescence signal intensity and retention time of NIR-PNG in the lymph node were superior to the corresponding properties of the IRDye800-free dye. A immunohistofluorescence study of the SLN resected under NIR imaging revealed that the NIR-PNG nanoprobes were predominantly co-localized with macrophages and dendritic cells. Intradermal injection of NIR-PNG nanoprobes into the thigh of a pig permitted real-time imaging of the lymphatic flow toward the SLN. The position of the SLN was identified within 1 min with the help of the NIR fluorescence images. Taken together, the experimental results demonstrating the enhanced photostability and retention time of the NIR-PNG provide strong evidence for the potential utility of these polymer probes in cancer surgery such as SLN mapping.

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