•  
  •  
 
Nano Research

Article Title

Biological imaging without autofluorescence in the second near-infrared region

Keywords

fluorescence imaging, second near-infrared, nanotechnology, autofluorescence

Abstract

Fluorescence imaging is capable of acquiring anatomical and functional information with high spatial and temporal resolution. This imaging technique has been indispensable in biological research and disease detection/diagnosis. Imaging in the visible and to a lesser degree, in the near-infrared (NIR) regions below 900 nm, suffers from autofluorescence arising from endogenous fluorescent molecules in biological tissues. This autofluorescence interferes with fluorescent molecules of interest, causing a high background and low detection sensitivity. Here, we report that fluorescence imaging in the 1,500–1,700-nm region (termed “NIR-IIb”) under 808-nm excitation results in nearly zero tissue autofluorescence, allowing for background-free imaging of fluorescent species in otherwise notoriously autofluorescent biological tissues, including liver. Imaging of the intrinsic fluorescence of individual fluorophores, such as a single carbon nanotube, can be readily achieved with high sensitivity and without autofluorescence background in mouse liver within the 1,500–1,700-nm wavelength region.

Graphical Abstract

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

Share

COinS