Author(s): TuckerSchwartz JM, Meyer TA, Patil CA, Duvall CL, Skala MC
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Abstract Photothermal optical coherence tomography (PT-OCT) is a potentially powerful tool for molecular imaging. Here, we characterize PT-OCT imaging of gold nanorod (GNR) contrast agents in phantoms, and we apply these techniques for in vivo GNR imaging. The PT-OCT signal was compared to the bio-heat equation in phantoms, and in vivo PT-OCT images were acquired from subcutaneous 400 pM GNR Matrigel injections into mice. Experiments revealed that PT-OCT signals varied as predicted by the bio-heat equation, with significant PT-OCT signal increases at 7.5 pM GNR compared to a scattering control (p < 0.01) while imaging in common path configuration. In vivo PT-OCT images demonstrated an appreciable increase in signal in the presence of GNRs compared to controls. Additionally, in vivo PT-OCT GNR signals were spatially distinct from blood vessels imaged with Doppler OCT. We anticipate that the demonstrated in vivo PT-OCT sensitivity to GNR contrast agents is sufficient to image molecular expression in vivo. Therefore, this work demonstrates the translation of PT-OCT to in vivo imaging and represents the next step towards its use as an in vivo molecular imaging tool.
This article was published in Biomed Opt Express
and referenced in Journal of Nanomedicine & Nanotechnology