DNA-enabled rational design of fluorescence-Raman bimodal nanoprobes for cancer imaging and therapy
Kircher, Moritz F.
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Recently, surface-enhanced Raman scattering nanoprobes have shown tremendous potential in oncological imaging owing to the high sensitivity and specificity of their fingerprint-like spectra. As current Raman scanners rely on a slow, point-by-point spectrum acquisition, there is an unmet need for faster imaging to cover a clinically relevant area in real-time. Herein, we report the rational design and optimization of fluorescence-Raman bimodal nanoparticles (FRNPs) that synergistically combine the specificity of Raman spectroscopy with the versatility and speed of fluorescence imaging. DNA-enabled molecular engineering allows the rational design of FRNPs with a detection limit as low as 5 × 10−15 M. FRNPs selectively accumulate in tumor tissue mouse cancer models and enable real-time fluorescence imaging for tumor detection, resection, and subsequent Raman-based verification of clean margins. Furthermore, FRNPs enable highly efficient image-guided photothermal ablation of tumors, widening the scope of the NPs into the therapeutic realm.