17 May 2016 Ultra-high sensitivity imaging of cancer using SERRS nanoparticles
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"Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy" (SERS) nanoparticles have gained much attention in recent years for in silico, in vitro and in vivo sensing applications. Our group has developed novel generations of biocompatible "surfaceenhanced resonance Raman spectroscopy" (SERRS) nanoparticles as novel molecular imaging agents. Via rigorous optimization of the different variables contributing to the Raman enhancement, we were able to design SERRS nanoparticles with so far unprecedented sensitivity of detection under in vivo imaging conditions (femto-attomolar range). This has resulted in our ability to visualize, with a single nanoparticle, many different cancer types (after intravenous injection) in mouse models. The cancer types we have tested so far include brain, breast, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, colon, sarcoma, and prostate cancer. All mouse models used are state-of-the-art and closely mimic the tumor biology in their human counterparts. In these animals, we were able to visualize not only the bulk tumors, but importantly also microscopic extensions and locoregional satellite metastases, thus delineating for the first time the true extent of tumor spread. Moreover, the particles enable the detection of premalignant lesions. Given their inert composition they are expected to have a high chance for clinical translation, where we envision them to have an impact in various scenarios ranging from early detection, image-guidance in open or minimally invasive surgical procedures, to noninvasive imaging in conjunction with spatially offset (SESORS) Raman detection devices.
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Moritz F. Kircher, Moritz F. Kircher, "Ultra-high sensitivity imaging of cancer using SERRS nanoparticles", Proc. SPIE 9836, Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications VIII, 98361L (17 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2225428; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2225428

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