A lysosome specific, acidic-pH activated, near-infrared Bodipy fluorescent probe for noninvasive, long-term, in vivo tumor imaging

Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl. 2020 Jun;111:110762. doi: 10.1016/j.msec.2020.110762. Epub 2020 Feb 20.


Long-term, in vivo, fluorescent cell tracking probes are useful for understanding complex cellular processes including tissue regeneration, communication, development, invasion, and cancer metastasis. A near-infrared fluorescent, water-soluble probe is particularly important for studying these biological events and processes. Herein, a lysosome specific, near-infrared Bodipy probe with increased fluorescent intensity in the acidic, lysosome environment is reported. This Bodipy probe is packaged in a nanoparticle using DSPE-PEG2000. The resulting nanoparticle is intravenously delivered to a tumor xenograft, where the fluorescent Bodipy becomes useful for non-invasive, long-term, in vivo fluorescent tumor imaging for periods greater than 36 days. These long-term, in vitro and in vitro tracking data indicate that the described Bodipy nanoparticles hold great potential for monitoring biological processes.

Keywords: Bodipy; Long-term cell imaging; Lysosome specific probe; Nanoparticles; Near-infrared fluorescence imaging.

MeSH terms

  • A549 Cells
  • Animals
  • Boron Compounds / chemistry*
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry*
  • Fluorescent Dyes / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Lysosomes / chemistry*
  • Lysosomes / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neoplasms / veterinary
  • Optical Imaging
  • Polyethylene Glycols / chemistry
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • 4,4-difluoro-4-bora-3a,4a-diaza-s-indacene
  • Boron Compounds
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Polyethylene Glycols