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14 February 2007 Inhibition of fluorescent dyes for the design of efficient activatable probes dedicated to non-invasive small animal imaging
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The framework of fluorescent targeting probes for optical imaging is similar to that of contrast agents for other modalities. They generally include a biological ligand, specific of the biological process to image, and a label, which confers the probe its optical properties. Moreover, more sophisticated labeling functions, termed "activatable" can be designed. An "activatable probe" will be initially non fluorescent. Only a specific molecular process, such as an enzymatic reaction or cell internalization, is able to activate the probe fluorescence. Such probes are particularly easy to design for the optical imaging modality, because of the easily triggered and well known fluorescence inhibition processes. The optical properties of different commercially available organic dyes and their fluorescence inhibition are therefore examined. Three classes of activatable probes have been listed: (i) activatable probes which rely on the selfquenching of the label; (ii) activatable probes which use RET (Resonance Energy Transfer) between the label acting as a donor, and an organic non-emissive acceptor; (iii) activatable probes which use an inorganic nanostructure as the inhibitor, such as a gold nano-particle. Whereas activatable probes of class (i) can lead to higher fluorescence levels after activation, their initial fluorescence inhibition can be hindered by structural constraints. Probes of class (ii) can therefore be more interesting according to the probe design. The efficiency of probes of class (iii) using nanometer gold particles is reduced because of their plasmon band lying in the visible and not near-infrared domain.
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Isabelle Texier and Emilie Heinrich "Inhibition of fluorescent dyes for the design of efficient activatable probes dedicated to non-invasive small animal imaging", Proc. SPIE 6449, Genetically Engineered and Optical Probes for Biomedical Applications IV, 64490I (14 February 2007);

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