Indocyanine Green Nanoparticles: Are They Compelling for Cancer Treatment?

Marta Sevieri, Filippo Silva, Arianna Bonizzi, Leopoldo Sitia, Marta Truffi, Serena Mazzucchelli, Fabio Corsi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Indocyanine green (ICG) is a Food and Drug Administration–approved near-infrared fluorescent dye, employed as an imaging agent for different clinical applications due to its attractive physicochemical properties, high sensitivity, and safety. However, free ICG suffers from some drawbacks, such as relatively short circulation half-life, concentration-dependent aggregation, and rapid clearance from the body, which would confine its feasible application in oncology. Here, we aim to discuss encapsulation of ICG within a nanoparticle formulation as a strategy to overcome some of its current limitations and to enlarge its possible applications in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Our purpose is to provide a short but exhaustive overview of clinical outcomes that these nanocomposites would provide, discussing opportunities, limitations, and possible impacts with regard to the main clinical needs in oncology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number535
JournalFrontiers in Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - Jul 16 2020


  • cancer
  • diagnosis
  • indocyanine green (ICG)
  • nanoparticles
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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