Plasmonic gold nanoshell (GNS) probe penetrates into tumors for deep imaging, enables superior photoacoustic contrast. Glypican-3 (GPC3) specific peptide (Kd = 71 nM) conjugated gold nanoshell (λabs=770nm) was used to detect HCC xenograft tumors in mice with photoacoustic imaging. This targeting probe demonstrated tumor uptake after 1 hr and cleared in 12 hrs. Images at a mean (±SD) depth of 9.7±1.4 mm from 0 to 2.1 cm beneath the skin revealed increased PA signal from tumors. Highest tumor uptake and tumor to normal tissue ratio occurred at 2 hrs post injection (T/B = 4.45±0.22, n = 8). Molecular targeting GNS showed potential as a simple, effective and rapid technique for noninvasive in vivo monitoring HCC tumor growth and GPC3 expression.
We demonstrate a dual axes confocal architecture, which can be used to collect horizontal(XY-plane) or vertical cross-sectional(XZ-plane) images for tissue. This scanner head is 5.5mm in outer diameter(OD), and integrates a 3D MEMS scanner with a compact chip size of 3.2×2.9mm2. To realize the miniaturization, there are some obstacles of the small size of 3D MEMS scanner, MEMS wire bundle, the air pressure effect for MEMS motion, the processing of parabolic mirror, and optical alignment to come over. In our probe, separation mechanical structure for optical alignment was adopted and a step shape MEMS holder was designed to deal with the difficult of MEMS wire bundle. Peptides have been demonstrated tremendous potential for in vivo use to detect colonic dysplasia. This class of in vivo molecular probe can be labeled with near-infrared (NIR) dyes for visualizing the full depth of the epithelium in small animals. To confirm our probe performance, we take use of USAF 1951 resolution target to test its lateral and axial resolution. It has lateral and axial resolution of 2.49um and 4.98um, respectively. When we collect the fluorescence imaging of colon, it shows that the field of view are 1000um×1000um (horizontal) and 1000um×430um (vertical). The horizontal and vertical cross-sectional images of fresh mouse colonic mucosa demonstrate imaging performance with this miniature instrument.