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28 February 2011 Hypoxia targeted carbon nanotubes as a sensitive contrast agent for photoacoustic imaging of tumors
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Development of new and efficient contrast agents is of fundamental importance to improve detection sensitivity of smaller lesions. Within the family of nanomaterials, carbon nanotubes (CNT) not only have emerged as a new alternative and efficient transporter and translocater of therapeutic molecules but also as a photoacoustic molecular imaging agent owing to its strong optical absorption in the near-infrared region. Drugs, Antibodies and nucleic acids could functionalize the CNT and prepare an appropriate system for delivering the cargos to cells and organs. In this work, we present a novel photoacoustic contrast agent which is based on a unique hypoxic marker in the near infrared region, 2-nitroimidazole -bis carboxylic acid derivative of Indocyanine Green conjugated to single walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT-2nitroimidazole-ICG). The 2-nitroimidazole-ICG has an absorption peak at 755 nm and an extinction coefficient of 20,5222 M-1cm-1. The conjugation of this marker with SWCNT shows more than 25 times enhancement of optical absorption of carbon nanotubes in the near infrared region. This new conjugate has been optically evaluated and shows promising results for high contrast photoacoustic imaging of deeply located tumors. The conjugate specifically targets tumor hypoxia, an important indicator of tumor metabolism and tumor therapeutic response. The detection sensitivity of the new contrast agent has been evaluated in-vitro cell lines and with in-vivo tumors in mice.
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Saeid Zanganeh, Andres Aguirre, Nrusingh C. Biswal, Christopher Pavlik, Michael B. Smith, Umar Alqasemi, Hai Li, and Quing Zhu "Hypoxia targeted carbon nanotubes as a sensitive contrast agent for photoacoustic imaging of tumors", Proc. SPIE 7899, Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2011, 78991S (28 February 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.878832;

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