Near-infrared fluorescence imaging (NIRF) is a powerful wide-field optical imaging tool that has a potential to visualize molecular-specific exogenous fluorescence agents, such as FDA approved Indocyanine Green (ICG), in thick tissue. Indeed, ICG is sensitive to biochemical environment such that it can be used to detect micro- or macroscopic environmental changes in tissue by solvatochromic shift that is defined by the dependence of absorption and emission spectra with the solvent polarity. For example, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is a very powerful drug carrier that can penetrate biological barriers such as the skin, the membranes, and the blood-brain-barrier. In presence of DMSO, ICG in tissue shows the excitation blue shift. However, NIRF imaging of microenvironment dependent changes of ICG has been challenging for the following reasons. First, the Stoke’s shift of ICG is too small to separate the excitation and emission spectra easily. Second, the solvatochromic shift of ICG is too small to be detected by conventional NIRF techniques. Last but not least, the multiple scattering in tissue degrades not only the spatial information but also the spectral contents by the red-shift. We developed a wavelength-swept laser-based NIRF system that can resolve the excitation shift of ICG in tissue such that DMSO can be indirectly visualized. We plan to conduct an in-vivo lymph-node drug-delivery study in a mouse model to show feasibility of the indirect imaging of the drug-carrier with the wavelength-swept-laser based NIRF system.
Jaedu Cho, Chang-Seok Kim, and Gultekin Gulsen, "Excitation-resolved wide-field fluorescence imaging of indocyanine green visualizes the microenvironment properties in vivo via solvatochromic shift
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9700, Design and Quality for Biomedical Technologies IX, 97000X (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 14, 2016; Published: 26 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2213875.4848651667001.
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