Intraoperative fluorescence imaging especially near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging has the potential to revolutionize neurosurgery by providing high sensitivity and real-time image guidance to surgeons for defining gliomas margins. Fluorescence probes including targeted nanoprobes are expected to improve the specificity and selectivity for intraoperative fluorescence or NIRF tumor imaging. The main focus of this article is to provide a brief overview of intraoperative fluorescence imaging systems and probes including fluorescein sodium, 5-aminolevulinic acid, dye-containing nanoparticles, and targeted NIRF nanoprobes for their applications in image-guided resection of malignant gliomas. Moreover, photoacoustic imaging is a promising molecular imaging modality, and its potential applications for brain tumor imaging are also briefly discussed. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol 2013, 5:219–232. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1212
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