Tumor specific fluorescent contrast agents

Samuel Achilefu, Richard B. Dorshow, Joseph E. Bugaj, Raghavan Rajagopalan

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Several dyes are currently used for various biomedical applications due to their biocompatibility and high molar absorptivity. Localization of dyes in tumors may be mediated by several factors such as leaky vasculature and high metabolic activity in proliferating cells. However, these mechanisms of action make it difficult to differentiate inflammation from benign or malignant tumors. In order to enhance their tumor specificity, dyes have been conjugated to biomolecules that target unique factors in various diseased states. However, such large biomolecules can elicit adverse immunogenic reactions in humans, and are often preferentially taken up by the liver. Furthermore, for solid tumors which may rely on diffusion of the biomarkers from the vasculature, penetration of large dye conjugates is not favorable. To overcome these problems, we designed and synthesized novel dye-peptide conjugates that are receptor specific. The efficacy of these new fluorescent contrast agents was tested in vivo in well-characterized rat tumor lines. The resulting optical images demonstrate that successful specific tumor targeting was achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-86
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000
EventOptical Biopsy III - San Jose, CA, USA
Duration: Jan 23 2000Jan 24 2000


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