Molecular Imaging and Sensing Utilizing Photoacoustics

Date(s) - 04/09/2012
11:45 am - 12:35 pm

Dr. Carolyn Bayer, Biomedical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin

Photoacoustic molecular imaging, utilizing nanoparticle contrast agents, is an imaging technique capable of providing high resolution images of molecular changes in vivo. We have developed an approach, based on multispectral photoacoustic signals from targeted silica-coated gold nanorods, to concurrently and non-invasively image multiple cell receptors over-expressed in specific breast cancer tumor types. When combined with ultrasound imaging, the system is capable of providing molecular and anatomical information for longitudinal studies of therapeutic efficacy. Additionally, specific mechanisms of photoacoustic signal generation from nanoparticle contrast agents are currently under study. These mechanisms present opportunities to sense molecular changes in vivo. Since photoacoustic imaging, combined with multifunctional nanoparticle contrast agents, is non-invasive and uses non-ionizing radiation, it is an ideal technique for molecular imaging and sensing in vivo.