BME Seminar Series: Carolyn L. Bayer, Ph.D.
Photoacoustic Molecular Imaging: Development and Applications
Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biomedical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin
High resolution images of the molecular changes induced by the treatment of cancerous tumors could provide critical information about efficacy of therapies in vivo. We have developed an approach based on the photoacoustic signals from targeted silica-coated gold nanorods to concurrently and non-invasively image multiple cell receptors over-expressed in specific breast cancer tumor types. Optically absorbing gold nanorods have been designed to provide optimal photoacoustic contrast and cellular specificity through monoclonal antibody targeting. Photoacoustic imaging of the targeted silica-coated gold nanorods produces images with a resolution limit in the hundreds of microns range, at depths up to 3-5 centimeters. Since photoacoustic imaging, combined with multifunctional nanoparticle contrast agents, is non-invasive and uses non-ionizing radiation, it is an ideal technique to use to longitudinally study treatment response in vivo.