Smart optical probes for near-infrared fluorescence imaging of Alzheimer’s disease pathology

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Abstract

Purpose

Near-infrared fluorescent probes for amyloid-beta (Aβ) are an exciting option for molecular imaging in Alzheimer’s disease research and may translate to clinical diagnostics. However, Aβ-targeted optical probes often suffer from poor specificity and slow clearance from the brain. We are designing smart optical probes that emit characteristic fluorescence signal only when bound to Aβ.

Methods

We synthesized a family of dyes and tested Aβ-binding sensitivity with fluorescence spectroscopy and tissue-staining.

Results

Select compounds exhibited Aβ-dependent changes in fluorescence quantum yield, lifetime, and emission spectra that may be imaged microscopically or in vivo using new lifetime and spectral fluorescence imaging techniques.

Conclusion

Smart optical probes that turn on when bound to Aβ will improve amyloid detection and may enable quantitative molecular imaging in vivo.

An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00259-008-0749-6