Fluorescent macromolecular sensors of enzymatic activity for in vivo imaging

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Radiology

Publication Date


Document Type

Book Chapter


Amino Acids; Animals; Biosensing Techniques; Carbocyanines; Diagnostic Imaging; Disease Models, Animal; Enzymes; Fluorescence; Fluorescent Dyes; Humans; Macromolecular Substances; Mice; Neoplasm Transplantation; Polyethylene Glycols; Polymers; Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared


Investigative Techniques | Molecular Biology | Radiology


Macromolecular imaging probes (or sensors) of enzymatic activity have a unique place in the armamentarium of modern optical imaging techniques. Such probes were initially developed by attaching optically "silent" fluorophores via enzyme-sensitive linkers to large copolymers of biocompatible poly(ethylene glycol) and poly(amino acids). In diseased tissue, where the concentration of enzymes is high, the fluorophores are freed from the macromolecular carrier and regain their initial ability to fluoresce, thus allowing in vivo optical localization of the diseased tissue. This chapter describes the design and application of these probes and their alternatives in various areas of experimental medicine and gives an overview of currently available techniques that allow imaging of animals using visible and near-infrared light.

DOI of Published Version



Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci. 2013;113:349-87. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-386932-6.00009-0. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Progress in molecular biology and translational science


Chapter 9 from the book "Fluorescence-Based Biosensors From Concepts to Applications", which is volume 113 in the book series Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID