The recurrence of malignant tumors is mostly caused by incompleted surgical resection. Especially, it is difficult for surgeons to detect and accurately remove metastatic tumors by predominantly using visual examination and palpation owing to the lack of effective means to specifically distinguish the boundary range between normal and tumor tissues. Thus, the development of activated fluorescent probe with superior tumor-to-normal (T/N) tissue ratios is particularly urgent in clinics. In view of CD13/aminopeptidase N (APN) regarded as a cancer-specific biomarker, mediating with progression, invasion, and migration of malignant tumor, herein, we reported an APN-responsive fluorescent probe YH-APN and demonstrated its application to distinguish cancer cells. Through in situ spraying manner, fluorescent superior tumor-to-normal (T/N) tissue ratios (subcutaneous transplantation tumor, 13.86; hepatic metastasis, 4.42 and 6.25; splenic metastasis, 4.99) were achieved. More importantly, we have demonstrated the ability to image metastasis tumor tissue less than 1 mm in diameter, highlighting the potential for this probe to be used as a tool in surgical resection. This research may spur the use of enzyme-activatable fluorescent probes for the progress of tumor diagnosis and image-guided surgery (IGS).
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by National Science Foundation of China (Grants 21421005, 21576037, 21808028), the NSFC-Liaoning United Fund (Grants U1608222, U1908202), and National Creative Research Initiative programs of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Korean government (MSIP) (Grant 2012R1A3A2048814).
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