2017 Volume 40 Issue 3 Pages 297-302
Sentinel lymph nodes (SLN) are the first lymph nodes (LN) where cancer cells metastasize from the primary tumor. We designed fluorophore-quencher-based activatable nanoparticles for SLN imaging. We selected TAMRA as a fluorophore and BHQ2 or QSY7 as a quencher. Ternary anionic complexes were constructed with generation 4th polyamidoamine dendrimer (G4) modified with TAMRA and p-SCN-Bn-DTPA (DTPA), polyethyleneimine (PEI) modified with BHQ2 or QSY7, and γ-polyglutamic acid (γ-PGA) by the electrostatic self-assembly system. TAMRA-G4-DTPA/PEI-BHQ2/γ-PGA and TAMRA-G4-DTPA/PEI-QSY7/γ-PGA complexes had a particle size of about 40 nm and a ζ-potential of −50 mV, and showed fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) quenching. Fluorescence microscopy studies demonstrated that TAMRA-G4-DTPA/PEI-QSY7/γ-PGA complex produced intracellular fluorescent signals in the lysosome. During in vivo fluorescent imaging, TAMRA-G4-DTPA/PEI-QSY7/γ-PGA complex enabled the detection of mouse popliteal LN. The fluorophore-quencher conjugated γ-PGA complex based on FRET quenching would be useful for fluorescence-based optical imaging of SLN.