Jonathan F Lovell, Cheng S Jin, Elizabeth Huynh, Honglin Jin, Chulhong Kim, John L Rubinstein, Warren CW Chan, Weiguo Cao, Lihong V Wang, Gang Zheng

Nature Materials volume 10, pages324–332(2011) | DOI:10.1038/NMAT2986


Optically active nanomaterials promise to advance a range of biophotonic techniques through nanoscale optical effects and integration of multiple imaging and therapeutic modalities. Here, we report the development of porphysomes; nanovesicles formed from self-assembled porphyrin bilayers that generated large, tunable extinction coefficients, structure-dependent fluorescence self-quenching and unique photothermal and photoacoustic properties. Porphysomes enabled the sensitive visualization of lymphatic systems using photoacoustic tomography. Near-infrared fluorescence generation could be restored on dissociation, creating opportunities for low-background fluorescence imaging. As a result of their organic nature, porphysomes were enzymatically biodegradable and induced minimal acute toxicity in mice with intravenous doses of 1,000 mg kg− 1. In a similar manner to liposomes, the large aqueous core …