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Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica ; (12): 169-177, 2022.
Article in Chinese | WPRIM | ID: wpr-913161


During fluorescence-guided cancer surgery, ultra-pH sensitive (UPS) fluorescent nanoprobes has multiple advantages such as real-time imaging procedures, ultra-high imaging sensitivity as well as broad tumor detection specificity. UPS nanoprobes stay at "OFF" state at higher pH and turn into "ON" state at lower pH with emission of strong fluorescence. Moreover, the transition pH points (transition pH point, pHt) can be precisely controlled by structural-based strategy. One of the previously-reported UPS nanoprobes showed good imaging effect. However, it is still not clear about the effect of pHt on cancer imaging efficiency of UPS nanoprobes and to further identify the optimal UPS. In this study, we synthesized a series of UPS nanoprobes with pHt at 4.5, 6.2, 6.6, 7.8 by adjusting the hydrophobic blocks of UPS polymers. Each nanoprobe showed excellent stability in "OFF" state by dynamic light scattering and uniform morphology observed by transmission electron microscopy. In vitro imaging characterized the ultra-pH sensitive fluorescence transition of each probe. In vivo imaging results identified two UPS nanoprobes (NP-6.2 and NP-6.6) with superior tumor imaging effect. All animal experiments in this study were approved by the Animal Ethics Committee of Peking University Health Science Center and were strictly followed by the welfare regulations of laboratory animals of Peking University Health Science Center. Therefore, this study has explored the effect of pHt on the cancer imaging efficiency of UPS nanoprobes and provides a new idea for design of the other cancer microenvironment-responsive polymers.