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Theranostics 2021, Vol. 11, Issue 42006IvyspringTheranosticsInternational PublisherResearch Paper2021; 11(4): 2006-2019. doi: 10.7150/thno.53031Integrated photodynamic Raman theranostic system forcancer diagnosis, treatment, and post-treatment molecularmonitoringConor C. Horgan1,2,3, Mads S. Bergholt1,2,3*, Anika Nagelkerke1,2,3#, May Zaw Thin4, Isaac J. Pence1,2,3, UlrikeKauscher1,2,3, Tammy L. Kalber4, Daniel J. Stuckey4, Molly M. Stevens1,2,3 of Materials, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK.Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK.Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK.Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging, University College London, London WC1E 6DD, UK.*Current address: Centre for Craniofacial and Regenerative Biology, King’s College London, London SE1 9RT, UK.#Current address: University of Groningen, Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Analysis, P.O. Box 196, XB20, 9700 AD Groningen, TheNetherlands. Corresponding author: E-mail: The author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( for full terms and conditions.Received: 2020.09.08; Accepted: 2020.11.25; Published: 2021.01.01AbstractTheranostics, the combination of diagnosis and therapy, has long held promise as a means to achievingpersonalised precision cancer treatments. However, despite its potential, theranostics has yet to realisesignificant clinical translation, largely due the complexity and overriding toxicity concerns of existingtheranostic nanoparticle strategies.Methods: Here, we present an alternative nanoparticle-free theranostic approach based onsimultaneous Raman spectroscopy and photodynamic therapy (PDT) in an integrated clinical platform forcancer theranostics.Results: We detail the compatibility of Raman spectroscopy and PDT for cancer theranostics, wherebyRaman spectroscopic diagnosis can be performed on PDT photosensitiser-positive cells and tissueswithout inadvertent photosensitiser activation/photobleaching or impaired diagnostic capacity. Wefurther demonstrate that our theranostic platform enables in vivo tumour diagnosis, treatment, andpost-treatment molecular monitoring in real-time.Conclusion: This system thus achieves effective theranostic performance, providing a promising newavenue towards the clinical realisation of theranostics.Key words: Raman Spectroscopy, Photodynamic Therapy, Theranostics, Cancer, Nanoparticle-FreeIntroductionA theranostic approach to cancer treatment,whereby therapeutic and diagnostic modalities areintegrated into a single system, offers the potential forpatient- or tumour-tailored therapies to improveclinical outcomes [1]. Through the combination of anappropriate diagnostic modality and a suitabletherapy, clinicians could modify treatment protocolsbased on real-time diagnostic feedback, therebytuning therapies to the patient or lesion ment, however, requires the careful selectionof compatible cancer diagnosis and treatmentmodalities and their effective combination into asingle system for clinical use [2,3]. This,understandably, presents a formidable challenge.To meet this challenge, existing theranosticstrategies have primarily relied on the use ofmultifunctional (typically inorganic) nanoparticles for

Theranostics 2021, Vol. 11, Issue n of diagnostic and therapeutic agents[2,4–6]. Theranostic nanoparticle systems have beendeveloped to enable MRI, CT, PET and fluorescenceimaging, in addition to chemotherapeutic compounddelivery, providing a large library of potentialdiagnostic/therapeutic combinations [7,8]. Numerousstudies have demonstrated theranostic constructsbased on nanoparticle systems including goldnanoparticles [4,9], carbon nanotubes [10], quantumdots [11,12], and upconversion nanoparticles [13,14].In these systems, optical modalities such asfluorescence imaging and Raman spectroscopy areregularly combined with phototherapies such asphotodynamic therapy (PDT) and/or photothermaltherapy (PTT) due to the inherent complementaritythat exists between these modalities [7,15,16].Despite exciting developments, whereby singlenanoparticle systems perform as both diagnostic andtherapeutic constructs, there remain significantconcerns that have thus far stymied clinicaltranslation efforts [3,17]. Chief amongst these areongoing safety concerns, namely due to the nonbiodegradability and subsequent bioaccumulation ofmany nanoparticle systems, as well as toxicities theymay display [18–21]. Indeed, the complex synthesisrequired to introduce multifunctionality into manysuch nanoparticle systems not only increasesproduction costs and regulatory hurdles, but makespharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies moredifficult, due to complex interactions that may existbetween multicomponent structures and anyencapsulated materials [22]. Further compoundingthese issues is the inherent trade-off that often existsbetween diagnostic and therapeutic modalities interms of desired dosages and clearance rates [23,24].While optimal diagnostic performance often requiresminimal contrast agent with rapid clearance,therapeutics typically necessitate maximal tolerateddosages for as long as possible to achieve highresponse [3,22].Here, we demonstrate a theranostic approach tocancer treatment that avoids the need for complexinorganic nanoparticles altogether. We employ acustom-built, multimodal fibreoptic probe to combineRaman spectroscopy for cancer diagnosis with PDTfor optical theranostics. Raman spectroscopy is anoptical diagnostic modality capable of identifyingsubtle biochemical differences between tissuesthrough the application of laser light and subsequentcollection of inelastically scattered light from tissue[25,26]. The resulting biochemical spectral fingerprinthas enabled real-time in vivo diagnoses ofgastrointestinal cancers [27–29], skin cancer [30],breast cancer [31], and cervical cancers [32,33] with2007sensitivities and specificities of between 85% and 95%.Importantly, this diagnostic performance is achievedwithout the need for contrast agents such asnanoparticle systems, with diagnostic readouts basedsolely on the underlying biochemistry of the tissues.Similarly, PDT is an optical therapeutic modality thatcombines light, oxygen, and a photosensitiser toprovide spatially and temporally controlled tumourdestruction [34,35]. Following local or systemicadministration, photosensitiser activation by light of aspecific wavelength produces a photochemicalreaction that generates reactive oxygen speciesresulting in controlled tumour destruction directlyand indirectly [36,37]. Crucially, PDT photosensitisersare small molecular compounds with existing clinicalapprovals, and have to date been applied for thetreatment of skin cancers, oesophageal cancer, andhead and neck cancer, among others [38–41].Here we show, through the choice of anappropriateRamanspectroscopyexcitationwavelength and the careful selection of PDTphotosensitisers, it is possible to achieve effectivecancer theranostics. Through extensive in vitrocharacterisation, we identify suitable Ramanspectroscopy and PDT parameters towards clinicalimplementation of this approach. Finally, wedemonstrate the feasibility of our theranosticapproach using a custom-built, multimodal fibreopticplatform for the diagnosis, treatment, andpost-treatment molecular monitoring of colorectalxenograft tumours in an in vivo mouse model.Together, our results highlight a potential strategy forthe clinical translation of theranostic cancermanagement.ResultsIntegrated fibreoptic Raman spectroscopy andphotodynamic therapyWe have developed a fibreoptic theranosticplatform, capable of the simultaneous delivery of upto three laser light sources (Figure 1A). Thistheranostic platform encompasses a fibreoptic probe(2 mm probe tip diameter) consisting of a centraloptical fibre for Raman spectroscopic excitation.Surrounding the central optical fibre are seven opticalfibres, one for PDT excitation, one for alternate PDTexcitation (at a third wavelength), and five for ed into the tip of this multimodal fibreopticprobe are distal optical components includingshortpass filters, notch filters, and a focusing lens tomaximise the efficient collection of Raman scatteredlight and the colocalised delivery of Raman and PDTlaser light for close-proximity or contact Raman

Theranostics 2021, Vol. 11, Issue 4spectroscopic measurements (see Materials andMethods for more details). Figure 1B illustrates anexample workflow using our developed theranosticplatform for the diagnosis, treatment, andpost-treatment molecular monitoring of a cancerouslesion. Here, when used in conjunction with a suitablePDT photosensitiser, our multimodal fibreoptic probeenables theranostic operation to realise the goal ofpatient- or lesion-specific diagnosis at the molecularlevel, treatment, and importantly, post-treatmentmonitoring of the tumour response to PDT viabiomolecular fingerprinting.Photosensitiser selection and characterisationWe first examined three clinically employedphotosensitisers with excitation and emission profiles2008expected to be compatible with the 785 nm laser usedfor in vivo Raman spectroscopic diagnostics (FigureS1). 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) is a prodrug to thephotosensitiser protoporphyrin IX (PPIX), both ofwhich occur naturally at low concentrations withinalmost all human cells, with clinical approval for PDTof actinic keratosis, basal cell carcinoma, Bowen’sdisease, and bladder cancer [42–44]. PPIX is activatedat 633 nm for PDT, with fluorescence emissionbetween 600 nm and 700 nm (Figure S1A, D). -approved photosensitiser with an activationwavelength at 690 nm and fluorescence emissionbetween 600 nm and 800 nm (Figure S1B, E) [45,46].Though originally developed for cancer applications,verteporfin is most commonly applied to theFigure 1. Multimodal fibreoptic probe for nanoparticle-free optical theranostics and envisaged surgical workflow. (A) Schematic of clinical system comprising amultimodal optical probe, a spectrograph, laser sources for Raman spectroscopy and photodynamic therapy (PDT), and a computer with associated system control software;(inset, left) Excitation-emission diagram demonstrating wavelength separation of diagnostic (Raman spectroscopy) and therapeutic (PDT) modalities. (B) Envisaged surgicalworkflow: (i), Raman spectroscopic identification of cancerous lesions (direct-contact measurement); (ii) Photosensitiser administration resulting in preferential photosensitiseruptake in diseased tissues with no impact on Raman spectroscopic diagnostic capabilities; (iii) Activation of photosensitisers in target lesions through illumination with PDT laser(at suitable working distance); (iv) Post-treatment monitoring of treated areas demonstrating destruction of cancerous lesions (direct-contact measurement).

Theranostics 2021, Vol. 11, Issue 4treatment of choroidal neovascularisation [47,48]. Thethird photosensitiser, temoporfin, is activated at 652nm with fluorescence emission between 630 nm and750 nm (Figure S1C, F) [49,50]. Temoporfin isclinically approved in Europe for the treatment ofsquamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck [38].Each of these photosensitisers was selected astheir clinical activation wavelengths are far from the785 nm wavelength used for Raman spectroscopicexcitation, and their fluorescence emissions fall wellbelow the wavelength range for Raman spectroscopicsignal collection. As expected, excitation of each ofthese photosensitisers at 785 nm produced almost nodetectable fluorescence signal (less than 0.2% of thepeak fluorescence signal upon photosensitiseractivation at 405 nm), indicating their potentialcompatibility with Raman spectroscopy (FigureS1G-I). As a further initial screening of thesephotosensitisers, we investigated the backgroundfluorescence they generate in Raman spectra whenmeasured in solution using our multimodal fibreopticprobe (Figure S2). In each case, at photosensitiserconcentrations in solution of up to 1000 ng/mL (1.78µM PPIX, 1.47 µM temoporfin, 1.39 µM verteporfin),no significant detectable increase in fluorescencebackground due to the photosensitiser was observed,indicating Raman spectroscopic diagnostics couldlikely be performed on tissues with comparably ifying PPIX levels present in high-grade gliomas(which demonstrate very high PPIX accumulation)following 5-ALA application for fluorescence-guidedsurgery has previously indicated a meanconcentration of 5.8 µM [51]. We anticipate that withthe added scattering effects of tissues, Ramanspectroscopy of lesions with similar PPIXconcentrations would be possible.Compatibility of Raman spectroscopy andphotodynamic therapy in vitroThe successful combination of Ramanspectroscopy and PDT for cancer theranostics relieson a lack of interference between the two modalities.Firstly, it is essential to demonstrate that the laserused for Raman spectroscopy does not causeundesired premature activation of the photosensitisers employed for PDT. Inadvertent activationof photosensitisers could result in damage to healthytissue and/or photobleaching of the photosensitiser,limiting the efficacy of PDT treatment on diseasedtissues. Secondly, the intrinsic fluorescence of thephotosensitisers must not impact or occlude theRaman spectral information obtained. Ramanscattering is inherently weak and is therefore easilymasked by stronger fluorescence signals [52]. In order2009to effectively perform molecular Raman diagnostics, aclear, strong signal is required for spectraldiscrimination of different pathologies.To assess the compatibility of these twomodalities, we first employed cell viability assays toinvestigate whether the 785 nm laser wavelength usedfor in vivo Raman spectroscopy activates any of thephotosensitisers when tested at clinically relevantconcentrations (Figure 2A-C and Figure S3). CCK-8cell viability assays were performed on three differentcell lines, A549 lung carcinoma cells, MDA-MB-231breast adenocarcinoma cells, and MDA-MB-436 breastadenocarcinoma cells. In each case, illumination at thephotosensitiser-specific wavelength resulted inphotosensitiser dose-dependent cell death, whileillumination at 785 nm did not affect cell viabilityrelative to no illumination controls. These data thusindicate that Raman spectroscopy could be performedon photosensitiser-containing tissues in vivo withoutcausing photosensitiser activation.Next, to determine whether photosensitiserfluorescence impacts the Raman spectral informationobtained, we collected Raman spectra using a confocalRaman microspectroscopy system at 785 nm fromeach of the three cell lines both withoutphotosensitiser and with the presence of eachphotosensitiser at the maximal dose tested for the cellviability assays (Figure 2D-F). For each cell type, theRaman spectra appeared grossly similar, with nosubstantial occlusion of the Raman spectral signal aswould be expected for compounds with fluorescenceemission in the Raman spectral range. Ramandifference spectra between the photosensitiserpositive cells and the control cells demonstrated onlysubtle spectral differences, potentially due toincreasedbackgroundnoiseinducedbyphotosensitiser fluorescence (Figure S4). Indeed, theraw Raman spectra for each cell line did show somechanges in background fluorescence, with particularlynotable increases in background fluorescence forMDA-MB-231 Temoporfin and Verteporfin cells(Figure S5). However, in each case, the overall shapeof the Raman spectrum and the key spectral peakswere maintained. This was further confirmed throughassessment of the mean spectral coefficient ofvariation and the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR)(calculated as the peak intensity at 1650 cm-1 dividedby the mean standard deviation between 1780-1820cm-1) for each spectrum (Figure S6). These indicatedgenerally consistent values across the processedRaman spectra, with increases in the mean spectralcoefficient of variation and decreases in the SNRobserved in the raw Raman spectra of the Temoporfinand Verteporfin cells.

Theranostics 2021, Vol. 11, Issue 42010Figure 2. Compatibility of Raman spectroscopy and photodynamic therapy in vitro. (A-C) CCK-8 cell viability assay of A549 cells incubated with (A) 5-ALA (PPIXprodrug), (B) Verteporfin, or (C) Temoporfin, at varying concentrations and illuminated with either the photosensitiser-specific LED array (633 nm, 690 nm, or 660 nm), the 785nm LED array, or not illuminated (mean S.D., N 3, n 6) (Multiple comparisons t-test, Bonferroni post hoc correction, * P 0.05, ** P 0.01, *** P 0.001). (D-F) Ramanspectral acquisitions (10 s integration time) of cells in the presence of different photosensitisers (phenol red-free DMEM (Control), 5-ALA (10000 µM), Verteporfin (100 ng/mL),or Temoporfin (10 ng/mL)) (N 10, n 5). (D) A549 cells, (E) MDA-MB-231 cells, (F) MDA-MB-436 cells. (G) Partial Least Squares – Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA) of Ramanspectra from three different cell lines (A549, MDA-MB-231, and MDA-MB-436) incubated with one of the three photosensitisers or no photosensitiser, performed across cellline (n 5 Raman spectra, N 40 cells for each cell line, 600 Raman spectra total) with classification accuracies of A549: 98.3%, MDA-MB-231: 100.0%, and MDA-MB-436: 98.3%with 95% confidence interval ellipses shown. (H-K) Confocal fluorescence images of photosensitiser positive A549 cells (H) Control, (I) (5-ALA induced) PPIX, (J) Verteporfin,(K) Temoporfin (scale bars 10 µm).Partial least-squares – discriminant analysis(PLS-DA) demonstrated that the fluorescence of thephotosensitisers investigated did not impact theRaman spectral information acquired (Figure 2G andFigure S7). This analysis, performed using a Venetianblinds cross-validation, successfully classified cellspectra according to their respective cell phenotypewith accuracies of greater than 98% (A549: ive of the presence of a photosensitiser withinthe cell (n 5 Raman spectra, N 40 cells for each cellline, 600 Raman spectra total). This provided furtherevidence that the presence of photosensitisers withincells had a limited effect on Raman spectra obtained,enabling successful PLS-DA classification to beperformed irrespective of photosensitiser presence.Lastly, the presence of photosensitisers in cellsand their fluorescence emission upon blue light (405nm) activation was observed using confocalfluorescence microscopy (Figure 2H-K). Here, whilefluorescence emission of PPIX was readily observable,verteporfin fluorescence was very weak whileTemoporfin fluorescence was not detectable using thissetup, despite photo-toxicity at this concentration.Owing to the high fluorescence yield and lowRaman spectroscopic fluorescence background ofPPIX (Figure 2I and Figure S5), which offers thepotential for tumour imaging and treatmentmonitoring in vivo, we investigated the use ofclinically-relevant Raman spectroscopy and PDTlasers through our multimodal fibreoptic probe with5-ALA induced PPIX in vitro. LIVE/DEADTM assaysof cells incubated with 5-ALA indicated extensive,highly localised cell death at the point of 633 nm laserapplication whilst minimal cell death was observedfor the 785 nm laser and no illumination control cellsdespite 785 exposure being 34 times greater than themaximum permissible skin exposure limit of defined by the American National StandardsInstitute (Figure 3A-C) [53,54]. In the absence of5-ALA induced PPIX, minimal cell death wasobserved for all three conditions (Figure 3D-F). Taken

Theranostics 2021, Vol. 11, Issue 42011Figure 3. Compatibility of Raman spectroscopy and photodynamic therapy multimodal fibreoptic probe in vitro. (A-F) LIVE/DEADTM stain of A549 cellsincubated with 5-ALA/PPIX and exposed to laser light at 100 mW for 120 seconds (total exposure 34, maximum permissible skin exposure 1.5 (approximatelaser spots indicated by dashed circles) (scale bars 400 μm). (A) 5-ALA/PPIX, 633 nm laser (multiple images manually stitched together), (B) 5-ALA/PPIX, 785 nm laser, (C)5-ALA/PPIX, no illumination, (D) Control, 633 nm laser, (E) Control, 785 nm laser, (F) Control, no illumination.together, the in vitro results presented here indicate ahigh level of compatibility between 785 nm Ramanspectroscopy and the three photosensitisersexamined. Of these photosensitisers, 5-ALA inducedPPIX demonstrated the lowest impact on Ramanspectra, ready fluorescence observation under bluelight activation, and the widest range of clinical PDTapprovals, making it a clear choice to take forward forin vivo investigations.In vivo cancer theranosticsTo demonstrate the potential of our theranosticapproach for cancer, we next conducted an in vivostudy of SW1222 colorectal tumour xenografts innu/nu mice. Ten female nu/nu mice with SW1222tumours on their right flank were split into a controlgroup and a PDT group (N 5 in each group).SW1222 tumours formed following subcutaneousinjection with 1 106 SW1222 cells engineered toexpress the firefly luciferase gene for bioluminescenceimaging (BLI). Here, BLI of the engineered SW1222cells enabled non-destructive monitoring of tumourprogression complementary to Raman spectroscopicassessment. Raman spectra were acquired via directcontact measurement (785 nm, 100 mW, 1 s) from thetumours and control flanks of both PDT mice andcontrol mice prior to and 4 h post 5-ALAadministration in PDT mice (Figure 4). Importantly,785 nm light penetration is on the order of 1 cm inepithelial tissues (though this is highly tissuedependent), making in vivo Raman spectroscopicmeasurements here possible [55,56]. ProminentRaman peaks were observed for both the tumour andcontrol tissue at 936 cm-1 (ν(C–C) proteins), 1078 cm-1(ν(C–C) of lipids), 1265 cm-1 (amide III ν(C–N) andδ(N–H) of proteins), 1302 cm-1 (CH2 twisting andwagging of lipids), 1445 cm-1 (δ(CH2) deformation ofproteins and lipids), 1655 cm-1 (amide I ν(C O) ofproteins), in line with previous in vivo Ramanspectroscopic studies [27,28,57]. Significant Ramanspectral differences between the control and SW1222tumour tissue were observed both before and after5-ALA administration, with greater peak intensities inthe control tissue as compared to the tumour tissue at1265 cm-1, 1302 cm-1, 1445 cm-1, and 1655 cm-1 (Figure4C). Notably, we observed an up-regulation of proteincontent in tumour tissue, as indicated by an increaseof the 1655 cm-1 peak relative to the 1445 cm-1 peak aswell as a slight broadening of the 1655 cm-1 peakrelative to the control tissue, in line with previousRaman spectroscopic studies [27,57]. An increase inbackground fluorescence intensity was observed inthe raw Raman spectra 4 h post 5-ALA administrationfor both control and SW1222 tumour tissue (FigureS8A). However, upon spectral processing much ofthese differences were accounted for such that visualdiscrimination of spectra taken prior to and 4h post5-ALA administration was difficult (Figure 4C).PLS-DA of processed Raman spectra from control andSW1222 tissues (performed across control andSW1222 tumour tissue, irrespective of PPIX presence)demonstrated a cross-validation accuracy of 97.4%,indicating the feasibility of highly accurate Ramandiagnostics on PPIX-containing tissues (n 18-20, N 5) (Figure 4D, Figure S9), as indicated by previousstudies [58]. Interestingly, despite being performedacross tissues irrespective of PPIX presence, the PLSDA successfully separated tumour tissue pre-PPIXand 4 h post 5-ALA, while failing to perform the sameseparation for the control tissues. Analysis of the

Theranostics 2021, Vol. 11, Issue 4mean spectra and PLS-DA latent variables indicatethe influence of the peak at 1550 cm-1 in the separationof pre- and post-PPIX tumour tissue, with this peaknotably having previously been attributed toporphyrins [59]. Confirmation of PPIX tumouralaccumulation was performed for control SW1222tumours and PDT SW1222 tumour tissues followingre-administration of 5-ALA 6 days post PDT (FigureS8B-C).Lastly, we evaluated the remaining two steps ofour proposed theranostic workflow (Figure 1B). At 4 hpost 5-ALA administration, PDT mice were exposedto 633 nm laser light, applied through the same multimodal fibreoptic probe used for Raman spectroscopic diagnosis, with a fixed illumination distance of15 cm, a fluence rate of 50 mW/cm2 and a total fluenceof 30 J/cm2. Here, using a comparatively low PDTdose, we first examined whether PDT-mediatedtumour control was possible following Ramanspectroscopic diagnosis of PPIX-containing tissuesand secondly, whether Raman spectroscopy could beused to perform post-treatment monitoring of theaffected tissues. BLI imaging of control and PDTtumours prior to 5-ALA administration/PDT, at 3days post-PDT, and at 6 days post-PDT demonstrateda significant reduction in BLI signal, indicative ofreduced tumour growth at 6 days post-PDT relative tocontrol tumours (one outlier PDT tumour excluded asdetermined by the 1.5 interquartile range (IQR) test,201222.2% normalised tumour growth at 3 days) (Figure5A-B). Importantly, these data demonstrate thatsignificant photosensitiser photobleaching did notoccur following Raman spectroscopic diagnosis ofPPIX-containing tissues. While there was nostatistically significant difference in excised tumourmass for either group, 53.4 37.6 mg for the controlgroup vs. 52.8 18.8 mg for the PDT group (mean STD, n 5), BLI results did align well withpost-treatment Raman spectroscopic molecularmonitoring. Sequential Raman spectral analysis,performed via difference spectra between tumoursand corresponding control tissue at each timepoint,initially indicated larger discrepancies for the PDTtumours than for the control tumours prior to PDT(day 0). However, at 3- and 6 days post-PDT theopposite was true, with PDT tumour discrepanciesdecreasing, while control tumour discrepanciesincreased across the 1265 cm-1, 1302 cm-1, 1445 cm-1,and 1655 cm-1 peaks (Figure 5C). We hypothesise thatthese spectral changes observed in the PDT tumourscorrespond to a small reduction in tumour load (i.e.the local density of tumour cells), resulting in a lowerproportion of tumour cells in the Raman samplingvolume. This thus suggests the feasibility of a Ramanspectral method for post-treatment responsemonitoring at the molecular level and points to thepotential of our single-device approach to diagnosis,treatment, and post-treatment monitoring.Figure 4. Raman spectral diagnostics of PPIX positive SW1222 tumours in vivo. (A) Integrated fibreoptic photodynamic Raman theranostic system. (B) In vivo Ramanspectral acquisitions from nude mouse. (C) Mean processed Raman spectra of control flanks and tumours in mice pre-5-ALA induced PPIX and 4 hours post-5-ALA injection (50mg/kg) (n 18-20, N 5). (D) Partial Least Squares – Discriminant Analysis of processed Raman spectra from control flanks and tumours performed across control and SW1222tumour tissue irrespective of photosensitiser presence (n 18-20, N 5) with 95% confidence interval ellipses shown.

Theranostics 2021, Vol. 11, Issue 42013Figure 5. BLI and Raman monitoring of PDT efficacy for SW1222 tumours. (A) Exemplar BLI images for N 3 control mice and N 3 PDT mice at day 0 (prior toPDT treatment), day 3, and day 6 used for assessment of tumour size. Note that faulty hardware prevented acquisition of white light images on day 6 without affecting BLI imageacquisition. (B) BLI-measured tumour growth for control (N 5) and PDT (N 4, 1 outlier excluded as determined by the 1.5x IQR test, 22.2% normalised tumour growth at3 days) mice at 3- and 6-days post-PDT (normalised to BLI-measured tumour sizes prior to PDT) (data are shown as mean /- STD) (two-tailed Welch’s t-test, * P 0.05). (C)1440 cm-1 peak intensity difference for control and PDT mice calculated from the difference spectra shown in (D & E) at day 3 and day 6, normalised to day 0 (data are shownas mean /- STD) (two-tailed Welch’s t-test, *** P 0.005). (D) Mean Raman difference spectra between tumour tissue and control tissue for control (n 20, N 2) and PDT(n 20, N 5) mice before (day 0) and 3- and 6-days post-PDT. (E) Magnified view of difference spectra shown in (D) between 1350-1550 cm-1.DiscussionTheranostic approaches to cancer managementoffer the potential for patient- or tumour-tailoredtherapies based on real-time diagnostic feedback.Striving for this goal, theranostic systems havebecome increasingly advanced, incorporating anarray of diagnostic and therapeutic modalities such asCT, PET, MRI, and photoacoustic imaging, as well aslaser ablation, and photo- and chemotherapies andinto various theranostic nanoparticle constructs[8,60-63]. However, despite these developments intheranostic platforms, clinical translation continues tobe stymied by on-going concerns over the safety andefficacy of the nanoparticle constructs on which theyrely [18,64].The goal of this work was thus to develop anoptical theranostic system that avoided the need fornanoparticles altogether. To this end, we developed atheranostic approach through application of a fibreoptic probe. Owing to the recent development ofsmall, portable fibreoptic probes [65-67], accurate,real-time Raman spectroscopic cancer diagnosis invivo is readily achievable. By employing acustom-built fibreoptic probe, we combined Ramanspectroscopic diagnosis with PDT for cancertheranostics. Cruc

without inadvertent photosensitiser activation/photobleaching or impaired diagnostic capacity. We further demonstrate that our theranostic platform enables tumour diagnosis, treatment, and in vivo post-treatment molecular monitoring in real-time. Conclusion: This system thus achieves effective theranostic performance, providing a promising new

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UV/ Fluorescence/ IR/ Raman/ Circular Dichroism T IR - move nuclei low freq. & inten. Raman -nuclei, inelastic scatter very low intensity CD - circ. polarized absorption, UV or IR Raman: E hν0-hνs Infrared: E hνvib hνvib Fluorescence hν Eex-Egrd 0 Absorption hν Egrd-Eex Excited State (distorted geometry) Ground State .