Researchers develop dual-triggered near-infrared persistent luminescence nanoprobe for image-guided rheumatoid arthritis treatment

In recent years, near-infrared (NIR) nanoprobes have gained wider interest in the field of diagnosis and treatment due to their advantages such as high sensitivity, reduced cost, radiation-free nature, and ease of operation. Dr. Yun Zhang and co-researchers from the Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have developed a highly sensitive autofluorescence-free imaging based on near-infrared persistent luminescence nanoparticles (NIR-PLNPs) for the precise monitoring of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disease progression.

The high-sensitivity persistent luminescence (PersL) imaging mode of the probe assisted in guided precise photothermal therapy and controlled drug release. The study demonstrated excellent photostability, biocompatibility, and targeting ability in RA lesions 4 hours post-injection. The imaging has helped in achieving an optimal therapeutic effect in preventing synovial hyperplasia, cartilage destruction, and controlling RA inflammation. Validation using micro-CT imaging and histological analysis yielded similar results, suggesting the diagnostic potential of the imaging in monitoring RA disease progression.

Wu et al. have reported the use of near-infrared fluorescence imaging-guided peptide-functionalized echogenic liposomes (iELPs) encapsulating methotrexate and indocyanine green for the minimally invasive targeted therapy against RA. The researchers noted favorable acoustic response, high affinity for endothelial cells overexpressing αvβ3 integrin, and fluorescence tracking properties as the unique characteristics of the echogenic liposomes.

Recent findings suggest the promising potential of therapeutic nanoplatforms may revolutionize precision medicine in the field of rheumatology.


  1. Wang R, Shi J, Zhang Q, Peng Q, Sun X, Song L, Zhang Y. Dual-Triggered Near-Infrared Persistent Luminescence Nanoprobe for Autofluorescence-Free Imaging-Guided Precise Therapy of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Adv Sci (Weinh). 2023 Feb;10(4):e2205320.
  2. Wu H, He Y, Wu H, Zhou M, Xu Z, Xiong R, Yan F, Liu H. Near-infrared fluorescence imaging-guided focused ultrasound-mediated therapy against Rheumatoid Arthritis by MTX-ICG-loaded iRGD-modified echogenic liposomes. Theranostics. 2020 Aug 8;10(22):10092-10105.