Nanotechnology, 2017, vol 28, 5, pp. 55102
Herein we provided the first proof of principle for in vivo fluorescence optical imaging application using monoolein-based cubosomes in a healthy mouse animal model. This formulation, administered at a non-cytotoxic concentration, was capable of providing both exogenous contrast for NIR fluorescence imaging with very high efficiency and chemospecific information upon lifetime analysis. Time-resolved measurements of fluorescence after the intravenous injection of cubosomes revealed that the dye rapidly accumulated mainly in the liver, while lifetimes profiles obtained in vivo allowed for discriminating between free dye or dye embedded within the cubosome nanostructure after injection.