In Vivo Epithelial Metabolic Imaging Using a Topical Fluorescent Glucose Analog

Paula Villarreal, Rahul Pal, Gracie Vargas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The demanding metabolic needs of cancer cells are met by aerobic glycolysis. While whole-body PET imaging methods exist for evaluating this metabolic response, these are not ideal for local, more detailed regions such as mucosal surfaces. Fluorescence imaging of glucose analogs with similarities to radiolabeled deoxyglucose used in PET, namely, fluorescent 2-deoxy-2-[(7-nitro-2,1,3-benzoxadiazol-4-yl)amino]-d-glucose (2-NBDG), offers such an alternative, particularly as this glucose analog may be delivered by local topical delivery. In this chapter, methods for in vivo epithelial imaging in a preclinical hamster model for oral cancer and oral epithelial dysplasia are described. Outlined are methods for preparation and in vivo delivery of 2-NBDG by topical application to the oral mucosa followed by fluorescence imaging to compare fluorescence responses between neoplasia and control mucosa or to monitor changes in fluorescence signal with time in both groups.



  • Epithelial cancer
  • Epithelial dysplasia
  • Fluorescence
  • Glycolysis
  • Intravital
  • Metabolism
  • Optical Imaging
  • Oral squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

Cite this

Villarreal, P., Pal, R., & Vargas, G. (2020). In Vivo Epithelial Metabolic Imaging Using a Topical Fluorescent Glucose Analog. In Methods in Molecular Biology (pp. 21-31). (Methods in Molecular Biology; Vol. 2126). Humana Press Inc..