DOI: 10.1002/adhm.202301000 ISSN:

A Ratiometric SERS Probe for Imaging the Macrophage Phenotypes in Live Mice with Epilepsy and Brain Tumor

Wenjia Duan, Cong Wang, Yiqing Jiang, An Sui, Zhi Li, Lu Wang, Zuhai Lei, Silvio Aime, Jinhua Yu, Cong Li
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


Macrophage performs multiple functions such as pathogen phagocytosis, antigen presentation, and tissue remodeling by polarizing toward a spectrum of phenotypes. Dynamic imaging of macrophage phenotypes is critical for evaluating disease progression and the therapeutic response of drug candidates. However, current technologies cannot identify macrophage phenotypes in vivo. Herein, a surface‐enhanced Raman scattering nanoprobe, AH1, which enables the accurate determination of physiological pH with high sensitivity and tissue penetration depth through ratiometric Raman signals is developed. Due to the phenotype‐dependent metabolic reprogramming, AH1 can effectively identify macrophage subpopulations by measuring the acidity levels in phagosomes. After intravenous administration, AH1 not only visualizes the spatial distribution of macrophage phenotypes in brain tumors and epileptic regions of mouse models, but also reveals the repolarization of macrophages in brain lesions after drug intervention. This work provides a new tool for dynamically monitoring the disease‐associated immune microenvironment and evaluating the efficacy of immune‐therapeutics in vivo.

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