NIR fluorescent small molecules for intraoperative imaging

Wiley Interdiscip Rev Nanomed Nanobiotechnol. 2015 Nov-Dec;7(6):828-38. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1337. Epub 2015 Jan 30.


Recent advances in bioimaging and nanomedicine have permitted the exploitation of molecular optical imaging in image-guided surgery; however, the parameters mediating optimum performance of contrast agents are not yet precisely determined. To develop ideal contrast agents for image-guided surgery, we need to consider the following criteria: (1) excitation and emission wavelengths in the near-infrared (NIR) window, (2) optimized optical characteristics for high in vivo performance, (3) overcoming or harnessing biodistribution and clearance, and (4) reducing nonspecific uptake. The design considerations should be focused on optimizing the optical and physicochemical property criteria. Biodistribution and clearance should first be considered because they mediate the fate of a contrast agent in the body such as how long after intravenous injection a contrast agent reaches the peak signal-to-background ratio (SBR) and how long the signal lasts (retention).

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Contrast Media / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Period
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Molecular Imaging / methods*
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Optical Imaging / methods*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Signal-To-Noise Ratio
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared / methods*
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Contrast Media
  • Fluorescent Dyes