Published. 2021, 10(10)
Bright anti-Stokes fluorescence (ASF) in the first near-infrared spectral region (NIR-I, 800 nm–900 nm) under the excitation of a 915 nm continuous wave (CW) laser, is observed in Indocyanine Green (ICG), a dye approved by the Food and Drug Administration for clinical use. The dependence of fluorescence intensity on excitation light power and temperature, together with fluorescence lifetime measurement, establish this ASF to be originated from absorption from a thermally excited vibrational level (hot-band absorption), as shown in our experiments, which is stronger than the upconversion fluorescence from widely-used rare-earth ion doped nanoparticles. To test the utility of this ASF NIR-I probe for advanced bioimaging, we successively apply it for biothermal sensing, cerebral blood vessel tomography and blood stream velocimetry. Moreover, in combination with L1057 nanoparticles, which absorb the ASF of ICG and emit beyond 1100 nm, these two probes generate multi-mode images in two fluorescent channels under the excitation of a single 915 nm CW laser. One channel is used to monitor two overlapping organs, urinary system & blood vessel of a live mouse, while the other shows urinary system only. Using in intraoperative real-time monitoring, such multi-mode imaging method can be beneficial for visual guiding in anatomy of the urinary system to avoid any accidental injury to the surrounding blood vessels during surgery.