Crimson carrier, a long-acting contrast agent for in vivo near-infrared imaging of injured and diseased muscle

Suresh I. Prajapati, Carlo O. Martinez, Jinu Abraham, Amanda T. Mccleish, Joel E. Michalek, Linda M. Mcmanus, Brian P. Rubin, Paula K. Shireman, Charles Keller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The near-infrared wavelengths (700-900 nm) are the most suitable optical window for light penetration and deep tissue imaging in small animals. Herein we report a near-infrared fluorescent contrast agent, crimson carrier, which acts as a blood pool contrast agent to detect and quantify injury and disease in live animals. After determining the excitation-emission spectra and pharmacokinetics, crimson carrier was injected into myoinjured mice to monitor their recovery. Crimson carrier was also used to image transgenic mice with spontaneous tumors. Crimson carrier has maximal excitation and emission wavelengths of 745 nm and 820 nm, respectively. Elimination occurs predominantly via urinary excretion. We demonstrate the utility of this contrast agent for serial imaging of traumatized muscle as well as muscle tumors. The unique long-acting pharmacokinetics and urinary excretion route characteristics make crimson carrier a contrast agent of choice for the visualization of tumors and injured muscle or other tissues in live animal studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-251
Number of pages7
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Crimson carrier
  • Muscle injury
  • Near-infrared contrast agent
  • Optical imaging
  • Tumor imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


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