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Researchers create new class of fluorescent dyes to detect reactive oxygen species in vivo
Date:12/15/2008

Researchers have created a new family of fluorescent probes called hydrocyanines that can be used to detect and measure the presence of reactive oxygen species. Reactive oxygen species are highly reactive metabolites of oxygen that have been implicated in a variety of inflammatory diseases, including cancer and atherosclerosis.

"We've shown that the hydrocyanines we developed are able to detect the reactive oxygen species, superoxide and the hydroxide radical, in living cells, tissue samples, and for the first time, in vivo," said Niren Murthy, assistant professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University.

Details of the hydrocyanine synthesis process and experimental results showing the ability of the dyes to detect reactive oxygen species in cells, tissues and mouse models were reported on December 8 in the online version of the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition. This research is supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

The researchers have created six hydrocyanine dyes to date hydro-Cy3, hydro-Cy5, hydro-Cy7, hydro-IR-676, hydro-IR-783 and hydro-ICG but say that there are potentially 40 probes that could be created. The dyes vary in their ability to detect intracellular or extracellular reactive oxygen species and by their emission wavelength from 560 to 830 nanometers.

Fluorescing at higher wavelengths allows the hydrocyanine dyes to be used for deep tissue imaging in vivo, a capability that dihydroethidium (DHE), the current "gold standard" for imaging reactive oxygen species, does not have. The dyes also have other advantages over DHE.

"When DHE comes into contact with reactive oxygen species, it oxidizes into ethidium bromide, a common mutagen, which means it's toxic and can't be injected inside the body," explained Murthy. "DHE also auto-oxidizes in the presence of aqueous solutions
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Contact: Abby Vogel
avogel@gatech.edu
404-385-3364
Georgia Institute of Technology Research News
Source:Eurekalert  

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