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Nano Research

Article Title

In vivo and in situ real-time fluorescence imaging of peripheral nerves in the NIR-II window

Authors

Zhujun Feng, Department of Anatomy and Physiology, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200025, China
Yimeng Yang, Sports Medicine Institute of Fudan University, Department of Orthopedic Sports Medicine, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
Jian Zhang, Sports Medicine Institute of Fudan University, Department of Orthopedic Sports Medicine, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
Kan Wang, Department of Instrument Science and Engineering, School of Electronic Information and Electrical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai Engineering Research Center for Intelligent diagnosis and treatment instrument, Key Laboratory of Thin Film and Microfabrication (Ministry of Education), Shanghai 200240, China
Yunxia Li, Sports Medicine Institute of Fudan University, Department of Orthopedic Sports Medicine, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
Heng Xu, Department of Plastic Surgery, Ninth People’s Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China
Zhen Wang, Department of physical education, Fudan University, Shanghai 200040, China
Ewelina Biskup, University Hospital of Basel, Department of Internal Medicine, Petersgraben 4, 4051 Basel, Switzerland
Shixian Dong, Department of Anatomy and Physiology, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200025, China
Xing Yang, Department of orthopedics, Affiliated Suzhou Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Suzhou 215500, China
Yuefeng Hao, Department of orthopedics, Affiliated Suzhou Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Suzhou 215500, China
Jun Chen, Sports Medicine Institute of Fudan University, Department of Orthopedic Sports Medicine, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
Yan Wo, Department of Anatomy and Physiology, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200025, China

Keywords

peripheral nerve, the second near-infrared window (NIR-II), fluorescent imaging, Agrin@PbS Qds, biocompatibility

Abstract

The peripheral nervous system (PNS) is essential for performing and maintaining various motor and sensory functions. Abnormalities can lead to a series of peripheral neurological conditions, such as paraesthesia, pain, or spasms, which are debilitating and lowering the quality of life. The current guidelines for diagnosis rely predominantly on clinical symptoms resulting from PNS dysfunction, which occur already at an advanced stage. There are currently no effective methods that visually reflect the extent of peripheral neuropathy. In our study, we present a novel in vivo and in situ real-time imaging of peripheral nerves based on the second near-infrared window (NIR-II) fluorescence. In NIR-II system, PbS Qds with NIR-II fluorescence specifically bound to motor neuron-specific protein agrin, acting as image contrast. In mice model, peripheral nerves were visible as soon as after 2 h post injection. We provide evidence for the efficacy of this approach, which allows to directly demonstrate peripheral nerves, their structure, and potential damage sites and degree. Furthermore, our products were of good biocompatibility, while the neural fluorescence signal was solid, bright and stable for 4 h in vivo. Thus, overall, our results suggest that NIR-II is an effective new method for direct imaging of peripheral nerves in vivo, opening new horizons on early, improved and more precise, targeted diagnosis. A resulting more rapid installation of personalized therapy facilitates a better prognosis of clinical peripheral neuropathy.

Graphical Abstract

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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