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Published January 2009 | Published
Journal Article Open

In-vivo photoacoustic microscopy of nanoshell extravasation from solid tumor vasculature


In this study, high resolution backward-mode photoacoustic microscopy (PAM) is used to noninvasively image progressive extravasation and accumulation of nanoshells within a solid tumor in vivo. PAM takes advantage of the strong near-infrared absorption of nanoshells and their extravasation tendency from leaky tumor vasculatures for imaging. Subcutaneous tumors are grown on immunocompetent BALB/c mice. Polyethylene glycol (PEGylated) nanoshells with a peak optical absorption at ∼800nm are intravenously administered. With an 800-nm laser source, a prescan prior to nanoshell injection is taken to determine the background that is free of nanoshell accumulation. After injection, the 3-D nanoshell distribution at the tumor foci is monitored by PAM for 6h. Experimental results show that accumulated nanoshells delineate the tumor position. Nanoshell accumulation is heterogeneous in tumors: more concentrated within the tumor cortex and largely absent from the tumor core. Because nanoshells have been recently demonstrated to enhance thermal therapy of subcutaneous tumors, we anticipate that PAM will be an important aid before, during, and after nanoshell thermal therapy.

Additional Information

© 2009 SPIE. Paper 08385LR received Oct. 27, 2008; revised manuscript received Dec. 25, 2008; accepted for publication Jan. 3, 2009; published online Feb. 24, 2009. We are grateful to Gina Lungu and Ovidiu Cracium for their assistance with cell culture and veterinary procedure, and to Jung-Taek Oh, Hao F. Zhang, and Konstantin Maslov for their technical advice and prior system development. This project is sponsored in part by the National Institutes of Health grants R01 EB000712 and R01 NS46214, and in part by the Advanced Technology Program at NIST, cooperative agreement 70NANB4H3040.

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