Radioiodinated tyrosine based carbon dots with efficient renal clearance for single photon emission computed tomography of tumor

  • Nian Liu
  • Yiyue Shi
  • Jingru Guo
  • Hai Li
  • Qiang Wang
  • Menglin Song
  • Zhiyuan Shi
  • Le He
  • Xinhui Su
  • Jin Xie
  • Xiaolian SunEmail author
Research Article


Nanoparticles with effective tumor accumulation and efficient renal clearance have attracted significant interests for clinical applications. We prepared 2.5 nm tyrosine based carbon dots (TCDs) with phenolic hydroxyl groups on the surface for directly 125I labeling. The 125I labeled polyethylene glycol (PEG) functionalized TCDs (125I-TCDPEGs) showed excellent radiochemical stability both in vitro and in vivo. Due to the enhanced permeability and retention effect, these 125I-TCDPEGs demonstrated a tumor accumulation around 4%–5% of the injected dose per gram (ID/g) for U87MG, 4T1, HepG2 and MCF7 tumor-bearing mice at 1 h post-injection. Meanwhile, the 125I-TCDPEGs also could be fast renally excreted, with less than 0.6% ID/g left in the liver and spleen within 24 h. These radioactive carbon dots not only can be used for cellular fluorescence imaging due to their intrinsic optical property, but are also effective single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging agents for tumor. Together with their excellent biocompatibility and stability, we anticipate these 125I-TCDPEGs of great potential for early tumor diagnosis in clinic. What’s more, our TCDPEGs are also proved to be feasible carriers for other iodine isotopes such as 127I and 131I for different biomedical application.


radioiodination tyrosine based carbon dots single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging fluoresecent imaging renal clearance 


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X. S. acknowledges the National Key Research and Development Program of China (No. 2016YFA0203600), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 81971738 and 81571743), the Project Program of State Key Laboratory of Natural Medicines, and the China Pharmaceutical University (No. SKLNMZZRC05).

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Radioiodinated tyrosine based carbon dots with efficient renal clearance for single photon emission computed tomography of tumor


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nian Liu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yiyue Shi
    • 1
  • Jingru Guo
    • 1
  • Hai Li
    • 4
  • Qiang Wang
    • 5
  • Menglin Song
    • 3
  • Zhiyuan Shi
    • 3
  • Le He
    • 4
  • Xinhui Su
    • 5
  • Jin Xie
    • 6
  • Xiaolian Sun
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Natural Medicines, Key Laboratory of Drug Quality Control and Pharmacovigilance, Department of Pharmaceutical AnalysisChina Pharmaceutical UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Biological and Medical ImagingHelmholtz Zentrum München and Technische Universität MünchenNeuherbergGermany
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Molecular Vaccinology and Molecular Diagnostics & Center for Molecular Imaging and Translational MedicineSchool of Public Health, Xiamen UniversityXiamenChina
  4. 4.Institute of Functional Nano & Soft Materials (FUNSOM), Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Carbon-Based Functional Materials & DevicesSoochow UniversitySuzhouChina
  5. 5.Department of Nuclear MedicineZhongshan Hospital Xiamen UniversityXiamenChina
  6. 6.Department of Chemistry, Bio-Imaging Research CenterUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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