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Published August 2012 | Published
Journal Article Open

Förster resonance energy transfer photoacoustic microscopy


Förster, or fluorescence, resonance energy transfer (FRET) provides fluorescence signals sensitive to intra- and inter-molecular distances in the 1 to 10 nm range. Widely applied in the fluorescence imaging environment, FRET enables visualization of physicochemical processes in molecular interactions and conformations. In this paper, we report photoacoustic imaging of FRET, based on nonradiative decay that produces heat and subsequent acoustic waves. Estimates of the energy transfer efficiency by photoacoustic microscopy were compared to those obtained by fluorescence confocal microscopy. The experimental results in tissue phantoms show that photoacoustic microscopy is capable of FRET imaging with an enhanced penetration depth. Through its ability to three-dimensionally image tissue with scalable resolution, photoacoustic microscopy could be a beneficial biomedical tool to broaden the in vivo application of FRET.

Additional Information

© 2012 SPIE. Paper 12369 received Jun. 12, 2012; revised manuscript received Jul. 10, 2012; accepted for publication Jul. 12, 2012; published online Aug. 8, 2012. This work was sponsored in part by National Institutes of Health grants R01 EB000712, R01 EB008085, R01 CA134539, U54 CA136398, R01 CA157277, and R01 CA159959. L.W. has a financial interest in Microphotoacoustics, Inc. and Endra, Inc., which, however, did not support this work.

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