Photoacoustic (PA) imaging is an emerging imaging modality that utilizes optical excitation and acoustic detection to enable high resolution at centimeter depths. The development of activatable PA probes can expand the utility of this technology to allow for detection of specific stimuli within live-animal models. Herein, we report the design, development, and evaluation of a series of Acoustogenic Probe(s) for Nitric Oxide (APNO) for the ratiometric, analyte-specific detection of nitric oxide (NO) in vivo. The best probe in the series, APNO-5, rapidly responds to NO to form an N-nitroso product with a concomitant 91 nm hypsochromic shift. This property enables ratiometric PA imaging upon selective irradiation of APNO-5 and the corresponding product, tAPNO-5. Moreover, APNO-5 displays the requisite photophysical characteristics for in vivo PA imaging (e.g., high absorptivity, low quantum yield) as well as high biocompatibility, stability, and selectivity for NO over a variety of biologically relevant analytes. APNO-5 was successfully applied to the detection of endogenous NO in a murine lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation model. Our studies show a 1.9-fold increase in PA signal at 680 nm and a 1.3-fold ratiometric turn-on relative to a saline control.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry