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WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol
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Semiconducting polymer nanoparticles for amplified photoacoustic imaging

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Semiconducting polymer nanoparticles (SPNs) are a new class of photonic materials with great potential for biomedical applications. Owing to their large absorption coefficients, tunable optical properties, and high photostability, SPNs have recently been used to improve the sensitivity and resolution of photoacoustic (PA) imaging. In particular, a number of strategies have been explored to design activatable SPNs for amplified in vivo PA imaging. In this review, the recent advances in the development of SPNs as exogenous PA contrasts agents have been summarized and their promising potential as multifunctional probes for cancer theranostics has been discussed.

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  • Diagnostic Tools > In Vivo Nanodiagnostics and Imaging
(a) Schematic illustration of the preparation of Semiconducting polymer nanoparticles (SPNs). (b) Chemical structures of SP1 and DPP‐based SPs (SP2–4). (c) UV‐Vis absorption and (d) photoacoustic (PA) spectra of SPNs. (e) Photothermal conversion curves of SPNs under laser irradiation. (f) Normalized PA and fluorescence intensities of SPNs solutions at 710 nm. (Reprinted with permission from Pu et al., . Copyright 2015 Wiley‐VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)
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(a) Synthetic route of the diketopyrrolopyrrole‐dithiophene (DPP‐DT). (b) Absorption of DPP‐DT polymers and gold nanorod (GNR). (c) Absorption spectra of DPP‐DT‐H Pdots with different corresponding hydrodynamic particle sizes. The absorption spectra of DPP‐DT‐H in chloroform are represented with dotted lines. (d) Photothermal effect of DPP‐DT‐H Pdots with various concentrations under 808 nm laser irradiation (0.5 W/cm2). (e) Photoacoustic (PA) images of tumor tissues after injected with either DPP‐DT‐H Pdots or saline. (f) Infrared (IR) thermal images of H22 tumor‐bearing mice with intratumor injection of PBS or PEGylated DPP‐DT‐H nanoparticles under 808 nm laser irradiation (0.5 W/cm2) for 5 min. (g) Photographs of mice after PTT treatment over 60 days. (Reprinted with permission from Chen et al., . Copyright 2017 Elsevier)
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(a) Chemical structures of PDPPCPDT, PCPDTBT, PEG‐b‐PPG‐b‐PEG, TEOS, and APTS. (b) Schematic illustration of the preparation of SPN‐SiO2. (c) Photography of the SPN solutions (20 μg/mL). (d) Absorption spectra of SPN6, SPN6‐SiO2, SPN1, and SPN1‐SiO2. (e) Temperatures of the semiconducting polymer nanoparticle (SPN) solutions as a function of laser irradiation time. (f) Thermal images of SPN solutions at their respective maximum photothermal temperatures. (g) Fluorescence spectra of the SPNs. Inset: representative IVIS fluorescence images of SPNs. (h) PA spectra of SPNs. (i) Comparison of the photoacoustic (PA) amplitudes of SPN6 and SPN6‐SiO2 at 760 nm, and SPN1 and SPN1‐SiO2 at 680 nm at the same concentration. (Reprinted with minor modifications with permission from Zhen, Feng, Xie, Zheng, & Pu, . Copyright 2017 Elsevier)
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(a) Design and synthesis of semiconducting polymers (SPs) (SP0, SP5, and SP10). (b) Normalized extinction and (c) fluorescence spectra of semiconducting polymer nanoparticle (SPN) solutions in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) with the concentration of 10 μg/mL. (d) Fluorescence intensities and images of the IVIS fluorescence of SPN solutions in PBS at the same concentration. (e) Photoacoustic (PA) images of tumor after systematic administration of SPN10‐RGD or for 0, 4, and 24 hr. The representative PA maximum intensity projection (MIP) images with axial view for SPN10‐RGD and SPN10. (Reprinted with permission from Xie, Upputuri, Zhen, Pramanik, & Pu, . Copyright 2017 Elsevier)
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(a) Chemical structures of PPor, HOOC‐PEG‐COOH, and PMHC18‐mPEG. (b) Photothermal conversion curves of PPor‐PEG NPs with different concentrations upon laser irradiation (1.4 W/cm2, 635 nm). (c) Photothermal response of PPor‐PEG NPs dispersions under irradiation with a 635 nm laser (1.4 W/cm2). The laser was shut off after irradiation for 600 s. (d) Absorption spectra of the PPor‐PEG NP solutions before and after laser irradiation (1.4 W/cm2, 635 nm) for 5 min; The insets show photographs of the PPor‐PEG NPs before (left) and after (right) laser irradiation. (e) PA imaging of tumor under 680 nm laser irradiation at 0, 1, 6, 12, and 24 hr before and after injection of PPor‐PEG NPs via the tail vein. (f) Normalized PA signals in the tumor at different times. (g) Temperature of the tumors in different groups upon laser irradiation. (h) Relative tumor volumes of mice after various treatments. (Reprinted with permission from Zhang et al., . Copyright 2017 Wiley‐VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)
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(a) Chemical structures of poly(cyclopentadithiophene‐alt‐benzothiadiazole (PCPDTBT), PC70BM, and PEG‐b‐PPG‐b‐PEG. (b) Intraparticle molecular orbital engineering. The energies of the HOMO and LUMO of PCPDTBT were −4.9 and −3.5 eV. (c) photoacoustic (PA) images of the tumor after injection with either SPN‐F0 or SPN‐F20 for 6 hr through the tail vein. (d) Quantification of PA intensities of either SPN‐F0, SPN‐F20, or saline at 750 nm after tail vein injection. (e) Infrared (IR) thermal images of 4T1 tumor‐bearing mice under 808 nm laser irradiation of a power density of 0.3 W/cm2 after injection of with either SPN‐F0, SPN‐F20, and saline for 6 hr through the tail vein. (f) 4T1 tumor‐growth curves for different groups mice after various treatments. (Reprinted with permission from Lyu et al., . Copyright 2016 American Chemical Society)
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Mauro Ferrari

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started out in mechanical engineering and became interested in nanotechnology with his studies on nanomechanics and nanofluidics. His research work and involvement with setting up some of the premier nano centers and alliances in the world, bringing together universities, hospitals, and federal agencies, showcases interdisciplinarity at work.

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