Elliott's defense is scheduled!
October 12, 2017
Elliott SoRelle will defend his thesis on October 12th at 1 pm in the Physics and Astrophysics Building Room 102/103.
THE DESIGN AND EVALUATION OF FUNCTIONAL CONTRAST AGENTS FOR NEW APPROACHES TO HIGH-RESOLUTION IN VIVO IMAGING AND DIAGNOSTICS
Abstract: Biomedical imaging technologies have become indispensible for clarifying our understanding of tissue growth, differentiation, and dysregulation, especially in instances of disease. However, few existing methods simultaneously achieve the spatiotemporal resolution, sensitivity, and penetration depth needed to study tissues in cell-scale biochemical detail within live animal models. Among these methods, even fewer have been deployed for functional in vivo studies due to the general absence of molecule- or cell-specific image contrast. To address this technical gap, I explore the use of noble metal nanoparticles called large gold nanorods (LGNRs) as exogenous contrast agents in conjunction with optical coherence tomography (OCT), a high-resolution biomedical imaging modality. First, I will describe LGNR preparation and properties, chemical modifications needed to adapt the particles for in vivo use, and the enhanced optical signals of LGNRs relative to nanorods of conventional proportions. Next, I will present spectrally-encoded OCT detection of LGNRs to achieve enhanced in vivo visualization of microvasculature in tumor models, functional mapping of lymphatic networks, and specific labeling for tracking leukocytes in solid tumors. Finally, I will present a novel method based on hyperspectral microscopy to explore the interactions between nanoparticles and tissues ex vivo. This method can be used in conjunction with traditional biodistribution methods to yield data that may compel preclinical exploration of nanoparticle contrast agents in judiciously selected diagnostic instances.