Phase-0/phase-I study of dye-loaded lipid nanoparticles for near-infrared fluorescence imaging in healthy dogs

Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2016 Mar:100:85-93. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpb.2016.01.001. Epub 2016 Jan 8.


Near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence imaging using FDA-approved indocyanine green (ICG) has been the subject of numerous studies during the past few years. It could constitute a potentially exciting new paradigm shift in veterinary oncology, especially to develop in vivo fluorescence imaging diagnostics and surgery guidance methods. The objective of this study was to evaluate the pharmacologic and toxicological characteristics in healthy beagle dogs of LipImage™ 815, a formulation made of NIR-dye-loaded lipid nanoparticles. The initial dosage for the evaluation of biodistribution was extrapolated from data in mice and then adapted to define the more adapted dose (MAD) according to the fluorescence results obtained in 5 dogs using a Fluobeam® 800 imaging device (phase 0 study). A single dose acute toxicity study was then performed (3 dogs, phase I study). Before the systemic administration of LipImage™ 815, the dogs presented a very mild residual fluorescence, particularly in the liver and kidneys. After injection, the plasma fluorescence continuously decreased, and the signal was relatively homogeneously distributed throughout the different organs, though more pronounced in the liver and to a lesser extent in the steroid-rich organs (adrenal, ovaries), intestines, lymph nodes and kidneys. A MAD of 2.0μg/kg was found. No evidence of acute or delayed general, hepatic, renal or hematologic toxicity was observed at 1-fold, 5-fold or 10-fold MAD. The results of this phase-0/phase-I study showed that an optimal dosage of LipImage™ 815 of 2.0μg/kg allowed the achievement of a fluorescence signal suitable for surgery guidance application without any acute side effects.

Keywords: Biodistribution; Dog; Fluorescence; Nanoparticle; Toxicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry*
  • Fluorescent Dyes / pharmacokinetics
  • Indocyanine Green / chemistry*
  • Indocyanine Green / pharmacokinetics
  • Indoles / chemistry
  • Indoles / pharmacokinetics
  • Lipids / chemistry*
  • Lipids / pharmacokinetics
  • Male
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared* / methods
  • Tissue Distribution / drug effects
  • Tissue Distribution / physiology


  • 2-(2-(2-chloro-3-((1,3-dihydro-3,3-dimethyl-1-propyl-2H-indol-2-ylidene)ethylidene)-1-cyclohexen-1-yl)ethenyl)-3,3-dimethyl-1-propylindolium
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Indoles
  • Lipids
  • Indocyanine Green