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Published March 2007 | Published
Journal Article Open

Photoacoustic imaging of lacZ gene expression in vivo


In the postgenomic era, imaging techniques are playing an important role in visualizing gene expression in vivo. This work represents the first demonstration of photoacoustic tomography (PAT) for reporter gene imaging. Rats inoculated with 9L/lacZ gliosarcoma tumor cells are imaged with PAT before and after injection of X-gal, a colorimetric assay for the lacZ-encoded enzyme β β -galactosidase. Using far-red optical illumination, the genetically tagged tumors in rats are clearly visualized by PAT following the assay. The spatial resolution is quantified to be less than 400μm 400μm , while 500-nM-level sensitivity is demonstrated. With the future development of new absorption-based reporter gene systems, it is anticipated that photoacoustic technology will provide a valuable tool for molecular imaging research.

Additional Information

© 2007 SPIE. Paper 06223LRR received Aug. 15, 2006; revised manuscript received Jan. 14, 2007; accepted for publication Jan. 30, 2007; published online Apr. 3, 2007. We are grateful to Sergio Similache and Ovidiu Craciun for assistance with animal handling. This research is funded in part by the NIH grants R01 NS46214 (BRP) and R01 EB000712.

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