Instructor, Radiology - Nuclear Medicine
Community and International Work
Opportunities for Student Involvement
Developing novel medical devices (based on optical, ultrasound and photoacoustic technologies) and integrating them with clinically relevant molecular imaging strategies to improve the current standards in cancer/disease screening and management.
In this report, we demonstrate for the first time photonic nanocavities operating inside single biological cells. Here we develop a nanobeam photonic crystal (PC) cavity as an advanced cellular nanoprobe, active in nature, and configurable to provide a multitude of actions for both intracellular sensing and control. Our semiconductor nanocavity probes emit photoluminescence (PL) from embedded quantum dots (QD) and sustain high quality resonant photonic modes inside cells. The probes are shown to be minimally cytotoxic to cells from viability studies, and the beams can be loaded in cells and tracked for days at a time, with cells undergoing regular division with the beams. We present in vitro label-free protein sensing with our probes to detect streptavidin as a path towards real-time biomarker and biomolecule detection inside single cells. The results of this work will enable new areas of research merging the strengths of photonic nanocavities with fundamental cell biology.
View details for DOI 10.1021/nl304602d
View details for PubMedID 23387382
Photoacoustic (PA) imaging is continuing to be applied for physiological imaging and more recently for molecular imaging of living subjects. Owing to its high spatial resolution in deep tissues, PA imaging holds great potential for biomedical applications and molecular diagnostics. There is however a lack of probes for targeted PA imaging, especially in the area of enzyme-activatable probes. Here we introduce a molecular probe, which upon proteolytic processing is retained at the site of enzyme activity and provides PA contrast. The probe oligomerizes via a condensation reaction and accumulates in cells and tumors that express the protease. We demonstrate that this probe reports furin and furin-like activity in cells and tumor models by generating a significantly higher PA signal relative to furin-deficient and nontarget controls. This probe could report enzyme activity in living subjects at depths significantly greater than fluorescence imaging probes and has potential for molecular imaging in deep tumors.
View details for DOI 10.1021/ja4010078
View details for PubMedID 23859847
To evaluate the potential of targeted photoacoustic imaging as a noninvasive method for detection of follicular thyroid carcinoma.We determined the presence and activity of two members of matrix metalloproteinase family (MMP), MMP-2 and MMP-9, suggested as biomarkers for malignant thyroid lesions, in FTC133 thyroid tumors subcutaneously implanted in nude mice. The imaging agent used to visualize tumors was MMP-activatable photoacoustic probe, Alexa750-CXeeeeXPLGLAGrrrrrXK-BHQ3. Cleavage of the MMP-activatable agent was imaged after intratumoral and intravenous injections in living mice optically, observing the increase in Alexa750 fluorescence, and photoacoustically, using a dual-wavelength imaging method.Active forms of both MMP-2 and MMP-9 enzymes were found in FTC133 tumor homogenates, with MMP-9 detected in greater amounts. The molecular imaging agent was determined to be activated by both enzymes in vitro, with MMP-9 being more efficient in this regard. Both optical and photoacoustic imaging showed significantly higher signal in tumors of mice injected with the active agent than in tumors injected with the control, nonactivatable, agent.With the combination of high spatial resolution and signal specificity, targeted photoacoustic imaging holds great promise as a noninvasive method for early diagnosis of follicular thyroid carcinomas.
View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-12-3061
View details for Web of Science ID 000316188900021
View details for PubMedID 23349314
We demonstrate feasibility of endoscopic imaging of Cerenkov light originated when charged nuclear particles, emitted from radionuclides, travel through a biological tissue of living subjects at superluminal velocity. The endoscopy imaging system consists of conventional optical fiber bundle/ clinical endoscopes, an optical imaging lens system, and a sensitive low-noise charge coupled device (CCD) camera. Our systematic studies using phantom samples show that Cerenkov light from as low as 1 µCi of radioactivity emitted from (18)F-Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) can be coupled and transmitted through conventional optical fibers and endoscopes. In vivo imaging experiments with tumor bearing mice, intravenously administered with (18)F-FDG, further demonstrated that Cerenkov luminescence endoscopy is a promising new tool in the field of endoscopic molecular imaging.
View details for Web of Science ID 000304965700007
View details for PubMedID 22741069
In this paper, we demonstrate 3-D photoacoustic imaging (PAI) of light absorbing objects embedded as deep as 5 cm inside strong optically scattering phantoms using a miniaturized (4 mm × 4 mm × 500 ?m), 2-D capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer (CMUT) array of 16 × 16 elements with a center frequency of 5.5 MHz. Two-dimensional tomographic images and 3-D volumetric images of the objects placed at different depths are presented. In addition, we studied the sensitivity of CMUT-based PAI to the concentration of indocyanine green dye at 5 cm depth inside the phantom. Under optimized experimental conditions, the objects at 5 cm depth can be imaged with SNR of about 35 dB and a spatial resolution of approximately 500 ?m. Results demonstrate that CMUTs with integrated front-end amplifier circuits are an attractive choice for achieving relatively high depth sensitivity for PAI.
View details for DOI 10.1109/TBME.2012.2183593
View details for Web of Science ID 000303201000001
View details for PubMedID 22249594
View details for Web of Science ID 000304489900085
Photoacoustic tomography is a rapidly growing imaging modality that can provide images of high spatial resolution and high contrast at depths up to 5 cm. We report here the design, synthesis, and evaluation of an activatable probe that shows great promise for enabling detection of the cleaved probe in the presence of high levels of nonactivated, uncleaved probe, a difficult task to attain in absorbance-based modality. Before the cleavage by its target, proteolytic enzyme MMP-2, the probe, an activatable cell-penetrating peptide, Ceeee[Ahx]PLGLAGrrrrrK, labeled with two chromophores, BHQ3 and Alexa750, shows photoacoustic signals of similar intensity at the two wavelengths corresponding to the absorption maxima of the chromophores, 675 and 750 nm. Subtraction of the images taken at these two wavelengths makes the probe effectively photoacoustically silent, as the signals at these two wavelengths essentially cancel out. After the cleavage, the dye associated with the cell-penetrating part of the probe, BHQ3, accumulates in the cells, while the other dye diffuses away, resulting in photoacoustic signal seen at only one of the wavelengths, 675 nm. Subtraction of the photoacoustic images at two wavelengths reveals the location of the cleaved (activated) probe. In the search for the chromophores that are best suited for photoacoustic imaging, we have investigated the photoacoustic signals of five chromophores absorbing in the near-infrared region. We have found that the photoacoustic signal did not correlate with the absorbance and fluorescence of the molecules, as the highest photoacoustic signal arose from the least absorbing quenchers, BHQ3 and QXL 680.
View details for DOI 10.1021/0104000a
View details for Web of Science ID 000280861300058
View details for PubMedID 20698693
We report a novel photoacoustic Z-scan (PAZ-scan) technique that combines the advantages offered by the conventional Z-scan method and the sensitivity of the photoacoustic detection. The sample is scanned through the focused laser beam and the generated photoacoustic signal is recorded using a 10 MHz focused ultrasound transducer. Since the signal strength is directly proportional to the optical absorption, PAZ-scan displays nonlinear behavior depicting the nonlinear optical absorption of the material. Among many advantages, our experiments on mouse blood show that PAZ-scan can potentially be used as a standard technique to calibrate contrast agents used in theranostics in general and photoacoustics in particular.
View details for Web of Science ID 000277082200032
View details for PubMedID 20588748