Seminar: Real-Time Near Infrared Fluorescence Imaging

Prof. Donal O’Shea

Head of the Department of Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry,
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Real-Time Near Infrared Fluorescence Imaging – from chemistry to mice and the potential for beyond

Fluorescence imaging, utilizing molecular fluorophores, often acts as a central tool for the investigation of fundamental biological processes.  It also offers huge future potential for human imaging coupled to therapeutic procedures such as fluorescence guided surgery. We have recently developed a new class of near infrared (NIR) fluorophore from which excellent in vitro and in vivo imaging probes can be developed.1 But in spite of the advantages offered by longer wavelength NIR emissions a common limitation with fluorescence imaging is the difficulty in discriminating non-specific fluorescence from fluorescence localized at a specific region of interest. This can restrict imaging to individual time points at which non-specific background fluorescence has been minimized.  It would be of significant advantage if the fluorescence output could be modulated from off to on in response to specific biological events as this would permit imaging of such events in real time without background interference. Two approaches (one molecular and one nanoparticle based) to achieve this using cellular endocytosis as the NIR-fluorescence switching trigger will be described.2  Both approaches permit continuous real-time imaging of the cellular uptake, trafficking and efflux processes as extracellular fluorophore is non-fluorescent. The principles behind the NIR-fluorescence off/on switching will be explained and illustrated in vitro and in vivo. In addition, a theranostics approach using the combination of NIR fluorescence imaging and photodynamic therapy will also be shown.3

Please feel welcome to attend on the 6th of December 2013 at 9:10 am. The talk will be held in Cheyne Lecture Theatre at RCSI, St. Stephen’s Green.

1.         (a) Tasior, M.; O’Shea, D.F. Bioconjugate Chem. 2010, 21, 1130. (b) Wu Dan, O’Shea D.F. Org. Lett. 2013, 15, 3392.

2.         (a) Palma, A.; Alvarez, L.A.; Frimannsson, D.O.; Grossi, M.; Quinn, S.J.; O’Shea, D.F. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 19618. (b)

3.         O’Connor, A. E.; McGee, M. M.; Likar, Y.; Ponomarev, V.; Callanan, J. J.; O’Shea, D. F.; Byrne, A. T.; Gallagher, W. M. Intern. J. Cancer, 2012, 130, 705.


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