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Published March 7, 2013 | Published + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Virus-mimicking nano-constructs as a contrast agent for near infrared photoacoustic imaging


We report the first proof-of-principle demonstration of photoacoustic imaging using a contrast agent composed of a plant virus protein shell, which encapsulates indocyanine green (ICG), the only FDA-approved near infrared chromophore. These nano-constructs can provide higher photoacoustic signals than blood in tissue phantoms, and display superior photostability compared to non-encapsulated ICG. Our preliminary results suggest that the constructs do not elicit an acute immunogenic response in healthy mice.

Additional Information

© 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Received 16th December 2012; Accepted 4th January 2013; First published online 08 Jan 2013. This work was sponsored in part by grants from the National Science Foundation (CBET-1144237, CBET-0923408 and CBET 0935995), and National Institutes of Health (R01-EB000712, R01-EB008085, R01-CA134539, U54-CA136398, R01-CA157277, and R01-CA159959). To create the color graphic, we modified some of the images freely available form the RCSB PDB (http://www.pdg.org) of PDB 1BNA (H. R. Drew, R. M. Wing, T. Takano, C. Broka, S. Tanaka, K. Itakura and R. E. Dickerson, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A., 1981, 78, 2179–2183). We thank Mr Yadir Guerrero for his contribution towards creating the color graphic.

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