Bone disease imaging through the near-infrared-II window.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Nat Commun, 2023, 14, (1), pp. 6287
Issue Date:
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Skeletal disorders are commonly diagnosed by X-ray imaging, but the radiation limits its use. Optical imaging through the near-infrared-II window (NIR-II, 1000-1700 nm) can penetrate deep tissues without radiation risk, but the targeting of contrast agent is non-specific. Here, we report that lanthanide-doped nanocrystals can passively target the bone marrow, which can be effective for over two months. We therefore develop the high-resolution NIR-II imaging method for bone disease diagnosis, including the 3D bone imaging instrumentation to show the intravital bone morphology. We demonstrate the monitoring of 1 mm bone defects with spatial resolution comparable to the X-ray imaging result. Moreover, NIR-II imaging can reveal the early onset inflammation as the synovitis in the early stage of rheumatoid arthritis, comparable to micro computed tomography (μCT) in diagnosis of osteoarthritis, including the symptoms of osteophyte and hyperostosis in the knee joint.
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