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Published May 2012 | Published
Journal Article Open

Optimal ultraviolet wavelength for in vivo photoacoustic imaging of cell nuclei


In order to image noninvasively cell nuclei in vivo without staining, we have developed ultraviolet photoacoustic microscopy (UV-PAM), in which ultraviolet light excites nucleic acids in cell nuclei to produce photoacoustic waves. Equipped with a tunable laser system, the UV-PAM was applied to in vivo imaging of cell nuclei in small animals. We found that 250 nm was the optimal wavelength for in vivo photoacoustic imaging of cell nuclei. The optimal wavelength enables UV-PAM to image cell nuclei using as little as 2 nJ laser pulse energy. Besides the optimal wavelength, application of a wavelength between 245 and 275 nm can produce in vivo images of cell nuclei with specific, positive, and high optical contrast.

Additional Information

© 2012 SPIE. Paper 11717 received Dec. 5, 2011; revised manuscript received Feb. 29, 2012; accepted for publication Mar. 5, 2012; published online May 4, 2012. This work was sponsored in part by National Institutes of Health grants R01 EB000712, R01 EB008085, R01 CA134539, R01 CA157277, and U54 CA136398. L. Wang has a financial interest in Microphotoacoustics, Inc. and Endra, Inc., which, however, did not support this work. Finally, we thank Professor James Ballard for his close reading of the manuscript.

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