Theranostics 2015; 5(10):1166-1174. doi:10.7150/thno.12813

Research Paper

A Quick Responsive Fluorogenic pH Probe for Ovarian Tumor Imaging

Ching-Hsuan Tung1,2,3✉, Jianjun Qi1, Lingchuan Hu1, Myung Shin Han3, Young Kim3,4

1. Department of Translational Imaging, Houston Methodist Research Institute;
2. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX, USA
3. Molecular Imaging Innovations Institute, Department of Radiology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, USA
4. Department of Pathology, Chonnam National University Hospital, Gwangju, Korea

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
Tung CH, Qi J, Hu L, Han MS, Kim Y. A Quick Responsive Fluorogenic pH Probe for Ovarian Tumor Imaging. Theranostics 2015; 5(10):1166-1174. doi:10.7150/thno.12813. Available from

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A novel cell-permeable compound, CypH-1, that is non-fluorescent at neutral pH, but fluoresces under mildly acidic conditions with a near infrared maximum emission wavelength was designed for the detection of tumors in the clinical setting. The potential of CypH-1 in ovarian cancer imaging was demonstrated using a murine model. The intraperitoneally administered CypH-1 results in a robust fluorescence signal of discrete neoplastic lesions with millimeter range resolution within few hours. Moreover, fluorescence signal is strikingly enhanced at peripheral regions of tumors at the microscopic level suggesting a sharp physiological difference at the tumor/normal tissue interface. This robust acid-activated imaging agent is expected to have significant impact in broad surgical and diagnostic applications.

Keywords: fluorogenic dye, pH indicator, tumor microenvironment, acidic, ovarian cancer.