Small-molecule based multifunctional probes play significant roles in biomedical science and possess high clinical translational ability. However, the preparation of these promising probes without complicated synthetic procedures remains a challenging task. Herein, we rationally designed a high-performance DD-A-DD scaffold molecular dye (SYL) with an intrinsic multifunctional ability and then incorporated it into DSPE-mPEG5000 to facilely construct biocompatible NIR-II fluorescent and photoacoustic (PA) dual-modal theranostic nanoprobes (SYL NPs) (∼120 nm). In vivo studies confirmed that SYL NPs exhibited bright NIR-II fluorescence and PA signals in the tumor region with a promising signal to background ratio (S/B). Meanwhile, SYL NPs demonstrated significantly inhibited tumor growth under laser irradiation with no noticeable side effects. These promising results highlighted SYL NPs as a potential theranostic platform for cancer diagnosis (NIR-II region) and therapy.
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