Theranostics 2018; 8(5):1227-1242. doi:10.7150/thno.22872 This issue


Indocyanine green-incorporating nanoparticles for cancer theranostics

Haolu Wang1, Xinxing Li2, Brian Wan-Chi Tse3, Haotian Yang1,4, Camilla A. Thorling1, Yuxin Liu5, Margaux Touraud6, Jean Batiste Chouane6, Xin Liu1, Michael S. Roberts1,7✉, Xiaowen Liang1✉

1. Therapeutics Research Centre, The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, The University of Queensland, Translational Research Institute, Woolloongabba, QLD 4102, Australia
2. Department of General Surgery, Changzheng Hospital, The Second Military Medical University, 415S, Fengyang Road, Shanghai, 200003, China.
3. Translational Research Institute, QLD 4102, Australia
4. School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
5. School of Environment and Biological Engineering, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210094, China
6. Department of Pharmacy, University of Rennes 1, Ille-et-Vilaine, Rennes, 35043, France
7. School of Pharmacy and Medical Science, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia

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.
Wang H, Li X, Tse BWC, Yang H, Thorling CA, Liu Y, Touraud M, Chouane JB, Liu X, Roberts MS, Liang X. Indocyanine green-incorporating nanoparticles for cancer theranostics. Theranostics 2018; 8(5):1227-1242. doi:10.7150/thno.22872. Available from

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Graphic abstract

Indocyanine green (ICG) is a near-infrared dye that has been used in the clinic for retinal angiography, and defining cardiovascular and liver function for over 50 years. Recently, there has been an increasing interest in the incorporation of ICG into nanoparticles (NPs) for cancer theranostic applications. Various types of ICG-incorporated NPs have been developed and strategically functionalised to embrace multiple imaging and therapeutic techniques for cancer diagnosis and treatment. This review systematically summaries the biodistribution of various types of ICG-incorporated NPs for the first time, and discusses the principles, opportunities, limitations, and application of ICG-incorporated NPs for cancer theranostics. We believe that ICG-incorporated NPs would be a promising multifunctional theranostic platform in oncology and facilitate significant advancements in this research-active area.