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Published February 28, 2012 | Accepted Version
Journal Article Open

Photoacoustic Sentinel Lymph Node Imaging with Self-Assembled Copper Neodecanoate Nanoparticles


Photoacoustic tomography (PAT) is emerging as a novel, hybrid, and non-ionizing imaging modality because of its satisfactory spatial resolution and high soft tissue contrast. PAT combines the advantages of both optical and ultrasonic imaging methods. It opens up the possibilities for noninvasive staging of breast cancer and may replace sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy in clinic in the near future. In this work, we demonstrate for the first time that copper can be used as a contrast metal for near-infrared detection of SLN using PAT. A unique strategy is adopted to encapsulate multiple copies of Cu as organically soluble small molecule complexes within a phospholipid-entrapped nanoparticle. The nanoparticles assumed a size of 80–90 nm, which is the optimum hydrodynamic diameter for its distribution throughout the lymphatic systems. These particles provided at least 6-fold higher signal sensitivity in comparison to blood, which is a natural absorber of light. We also demonstrated that high SLN detection sensitivity with PAT can be achieved in a rodent model. This work clearly demonstrates for the first time the potential use of copper as an optical contrast agent.

Additional Information

© 2012 American Chemical Society. Publication Date (Web): January 09, 2012. This research was supported by grants from the AHA (0835426N and 11IRG5690011), NIH (R01CA154737), NCI (U54CA119342), BRP (HL073646), and the NHLBI (R01HL073646, R01HL078631). We thank Mr. Allen J. Stacy for help with the biodistribution experiment. We also thank Ms. Marilyn Levy (Cell Biology) and Ms. Kate Nelson (Nano Research Facility, Washington University in St. Louis) for helping us with TEM and EDX experiments, respectively.

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Accepted Version - nihms350955.pdf


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