Near-infrared-fluorescence imaging of lymph nodes by using liposomally formulated indocyanine green derivatives

Bioorg Med Chem. 2014 Jan 15;22(2):721-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2013.12.026. Epub 2013 Dec 20.


Liposomally formulated indocyanine green (LP-ICG) has drawn much attention as a highly sensitive near-infrared (NIR)-fluorescence probe for tumors or lymph nodes in vivo. We synthesized ICG derivatives tagged with alkyl chains (ICG-Cn), and we examined NIR-fluorescence imaging for lymph nodes in the lower extremities of mice by using liposomally formulated ICG-Cn (LP-ICG-Cn) as well as conventional liposomally formulated ICG (LP-ICG) and ICG. Analysis with a noninvasive preclinical NIR-fluorescence imaging system revealed that LP-ICG-Cn accumulates in only the popliteal lymph node 1h after injection into the footpad, whereas LP-ICG and ICG accumulate in the popliteal lymph node and other organs like the liver. This result indicates that LP-ICG-Cn is a useful NIR-fluorescence probe for noninvasive in vivo bioimaging, especially for the sentinel lymph node.

Keywords: Indocyanine green (ICG); Liposome; Lymph node; Near-infrared (NIR)-fluorescence probe; Phospholipid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diagnostic Imaging*
  • Fluorescence*
  • Fluorescent Dyes* / chemistry
  • Indocyanine Green* / chemistry
  • Liposomes / chemistry*
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Molecular Structure
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Liposomes
  • Indocyanine Green