Design of a near infrared fluorescent ureter imaging agent for prevention of ureter damage during abdominal surgeries

Sakkarapalayam M. Mahalingam, Karson S. Putt, Madduri Srinivasarao, Philip S. Low

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The inadvertent severing of a ureter during surgery occurs in as many as 4.5% of colorectal surgeries. To help prevent this issue, several near-infrared (NIR) dyes have been developed to assist surgeons with identifying ureter location. However, the majority of these dyes exhibit at least some issue that precludes their widespread usage such as high levels of uptake in other tissues, overlapping emission wavelengths with other NIR dyes used for other fluorescence-guided surgeries, and/or rapid excretion times through the ureters. To overcome these limitations, we have synthesized and characterized the spectral properties and biodistribution of a new series of PEGylated UreterGlow derivatives. The most promising dye, UreterGlow-11 was shown to almost exclusively excrete through the kidneys/ureters with detectable fluorescence observed for at least 12 h. Additionally, while the excitation wavelength is similar to that of other NIR dyes used for cancer resections, the emission is shifted by ~30 nm allowing for discrimination between the different fluorescence-guided surgery probes. In conclusion, these new UreterGlow dyes show promising optical and biodistribution characteristics and are good candidates for translation into the clinic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3739
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 2 2021


  • Fluorescence-guided surgery
  • Near-infrared dye
  • PEG pharmacokinetics
  • Ureter imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Design of a near infrared fluorescent ureter imaging agent for prevention of ureter damage during abdominal surgeries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this