Date of Submission


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemistry


Chemistry and Chemical Engineering


Hao Sun, Ph.D.


Near-Infrared (NIR) Dyes, Macromolecular NIR Dye, Tumor-targeting Ability, Enhanced Permeation and Retention (EPR) Effect


Near infrared spectroscopy, Glycogen, Photochemotherapy, Photothermal spectroscopy, Cancer cells


Near-Infrared (NIR) dyes are small organic molecules emerging as promising imaging agents and therapeutics for anticancer application. However, their small size inevitably resulted in several drawbacks, including low in vivo stability, inherent toxicity, and lack of targeting ability, which compromise their potential for clinical use. This project aims to address those issues by developing a novel “macromolecular” NIR dye. By covalently engineering the glycogen surface with indocyanine green (an FDA-approved NIR dye), we will create a series of glycogen-NIR dye conjugates with a size of 100-200 nm. In addition, this NIR dye is not stable in water for a long time, and by conjugating it to glycogen, the stability and storage condition of this material would be highly improved. The tumor-targeting ability of nanoscale glycogen-NIR dye conjugate is expected to outperform traditional small molecular dyes because of the enhanced permeation and retention (EPR) effect. More importantly, upon cell uptake, macromolecular NIR dyes can promote photodynamic and photothermal therapy of cancer cells under NIR irradiation. We envision that our design of macromolecular NIR dyes will provide new insights into the development of next-generation photodynamic and photothermal therapeutics, which could be an exogenous drug delivery system for the photothermal therapy of cancer cells.

Available for download on Tuesday, June 17, 2025

Included in

Chemistry Commons