HER-2/neu targeted delivery of a nanoprobe enables dual photoacoustic and fluorescence tomography of ovarian cancer.
ABSTRACT: Development of sensitive and specific imaging approaches for the detection of ovarian cancer holds great promise for improving survival of ovarian cancer patients. Here we describe a dual-modality photoacoustic and fluorescence molecular tomography (PAT/FMT) approach in combination with a targeted imaging probe for three-dimensional imaging of ovarian tumors in mice. We found that the selective accumulation of the HER-2/neu targeted magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) led to about 5-fold contrast enhancements in the tumor for PAT, while near-infrared (NIR) dye labeled nanoparticles emitted strong optical signals for FMT. Both PAT and FMT were demonstrated to be able to detect ovarian tumors located deep in the peritoneal cavity in mice. The targeted nanoprobes allowed mapping tumors in high resolution via PAT, and high sensitivity and specificity via FMT. This study demonstrated the potential of the application of HER-2/neu-targeted PAT/FMT approach for non-invasive or intraoperative imaging of ovarian cancer.This paper details the development of a dual-modality photoacoustic and fluorescence molecular tomography approach in combination with a targeted imaging probe for three-dimensional imaging of ovarian tumors in a mouse model, demonstrating the application of the HER-2/neu-targeted approach for non-invasive or intraoperative imaging of ovarian cancer.
Project description:High re-excision rates in breast-conserving surgery call for a new intraoperative approach to the lumpectomy margin evaluation problem. The unique intraoperative imaging system, presented here, demonstrated the capability of photoacoustic tomography (PAT) to deliver optical sensitivity and specificity, along with over 2-cm imaging depth, in a clinical setting. The system enabled the evaluation of tumor extent, shape, morphology, and position within lumpectomy specimens measuring up to 11 cm in diameter. The investigation included all major breast cancer-related lesions, such as invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), multifocal IDC, ductal carcinoma in situ and combinations of these variants. Coregistration with established ultrasound (US) technology, as well as comparison to specimen radiography, validated the performance of PAT, which appeared to facilitate better tumor visualization. Contrary to expected PA contrast mechanisms, PAT images of hemoglobin distribution correlated poorly with US-determined tumor location, while hypointense regions in lipid-weighted PAT images were in better agreement with US.
Project description:In recent years, photoacoustic tomography (PAT) is increasingly used in biomedical research, as it allows for direct visualization of optical absorption in deep tissue. In addition to vascular and hemodynamic imaging using endogenous contrasts, PAT is also capable of imaging neural and molecular dynamics with extrinsic contrasts. While near-infrared (NIR)-absorbing contrasts are preferred for deep tissue imaging, compared to visible-light-absorbing contrasts, they are much harder to design and synthesize with good environmental stability. We introduce here a new PAT mode which utilizes nonlinear multiphoton upconversion of NIR light in situ to visible light, thus exciting locally a dye that can generate strong photoacoustic signal. This approach allows to take advantage of a large library of visible-light-absorbing dyes that can enable functional imaging, such as imaging of voltage, oxygen, pH, and ion channel activities. Two types of upconversion materials are utilized in this work: 1) a two-photon absorbing and emitting dye that is efficiently excited by NIR nanosecond laser pulses to enable pulsed laser-based PAT (pulsed-PAT); and 2) rare-earth containing inorganic nanocrystals that absorb continuous-wave (CW) NIR light by sequential multiphoton absorption through real intermediate states to enable intensity-modulated CW laser-based PAT (CW-PAT). Since both cases produce highly localized nonlinear photoacoustic signal, which has very weak scattering in tissue, we can achieve high contrast 3-D volume imaging of deep tissues. In this study, we validated the principle of our approach in different PAT modes and successfully detected enhanced photoacoustic signals from a visible-light-absorbing dye embedded deep in tissue. With vast variety of functionalized organic dyes operating in the visible range, our mode of nonlinear photoacoustic imaging will find great applications in preclinical and clinical researches.
Project description:A new transplantable ovarian tumor model is presented using a novel folate receptor (FR) positive, murine ovarian cancer cell line that emulates the human disease and induces widespread intraperitoneal (i.p.) tumors in immunocompetent mice within 4-8 weeks of implantation. Tumor development was monitored using a new positron emission tomography (PET) FR-targeting reporter with PET/computerized tomography (PET/CT) and fluorescence molecular tomography (FMT) using a commercial FR-targeting reporter. Conventional structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was also performed. Adult female C57BL/6 mice were injected i.p. with 6 × 10(6) MKP-L FR+ cells. Imaging was performed weekly beginning 2 weeks after tumor induction. The albumin-binding, FR-targeting ligand cm09 was radiolabeled with the positron emitter (68)Ga and used to image the tumors with a small animal PET/CT. The FR-reporter FolateRSense 680 (PerkinElmer) was used for FMT and flow cytometry. Preclinical MRI (7 T) without FR-targeting was compared with the PET and FMT molecular imaging. Tumors were visible by all three imaging modalities. PET/CT had the highest imaging sensitivity at 3-3.5 h postadministration (mean %IA/g mean > 6) and visualized tumors earlier than the other two modalities with lower kidney uptake (mean %IA/g mean < 17) than previously reported FR-targeting agents in late stage disease. FMT showed relatively low FR-targeted agent in the bladder and kidneys, but yielded the lowest anatomical image resolution. MRI produced the highest resolution images, but it was difficult to distinguish tumors from abdominal organs during early progression since a FR-targeting MRI reporter was not used. Nevertheless, there was good correlation of imaging biomarkers between the three modalities. Tumors in the mouse ovarian cancer model could be detected using FR-targeted imaging as early as 2 weeks post i.p. injection of tumor cells. An imaging protocol should combine one or more of the modalities, e.g., PET/CT or PET/MRI for optimal tumor detection and delineation from surrounding tissues.
Project description:Photoacoustic tomography (PAT) of genetically encoded probes allows for imaging of targeted biological processes deep in tissues with high spatial resolution; however, high background signals from blood can limit the achievable detection sensitivity. Here we describe a reversibly switchable nonfluorescent bacterial phytochrome for use in multiscale photoacoustic imaging, BphP1, with the most red-shifted absorption among genetically encoded probes. BphP1 binds a heme-derived biliverdin chromophore and is reversibly photoconvertible between red and near-infrared light-absorption states. We combined single-wavelength PAT with efficient BphP1 photoswitching, which enabled differential imaging with substantially decreased background signals, enhanced detection sensitivity, increased penetration depth and improved spatial resolution. We monitored tumor growth and metastasis with ? 100-?m resolution at depths approaching 10 mm using photoacoustic computed tomography, and we imaged individual cancer cells with a suboptical-diffraction resolution of ? 140 nm using photoacoustic microscopy. This technology is promising for biomedical studies at several scales.
Project description:Photoacoustic tomography (PAT) is a non-ionizing imaging modality capable of acquiring high contrast and resolution images of optical absorption at depths greater than traditional optical imaging techniques. Practical considerations with instrumentation and geometry limit the number of available acoustic sensors and their "view" of the imaging target, which result in image reconstruction artifacts degrading image quality. Iterative reconstruction methods can be used to reduce artifacts but are computationally expensive. In this work, we propose a novel deep learning approach termed pixel-wise deep learning (Pixel-DL) that first employs pixel-wise interpolation governed by the physics of photoacoustic wave propagation and then uses a convolution neural network to reconstruct an image. Simulated photoacoustic data from synthetic, mouse-brain, lung, and fundus vasculature phantoms were used for training and testing. Results demonstrated that Pixel-DL achieved comparable or better performance to iterative methods and consistently outperformed other CNN-based approaches for correcting artifacts. Pixel-DL is a computationally efficient approach that enables for real-time PAT rendering and improved image reconstruction quality for limited-view and sparse PAT.
Project description:Improved imaging approaches are needed for ovarian cancer screening, diagnosis, staging, and resection guidance. Here, we propose a combined photoacoustic (PA)/Raman approach using gold nanorods (GNRs) as a passively targeted molecular imaging agent. GNRs with three different aspect ratios were studied. Those with an aspect ratio of 3.5 were selected for their highest ex vivo and in vivo PA signal and used to image subcutaneous xenografts of the 2008, HEY, and SKOV3 ovarian cancer cell lines in living mice. Maximum PA signal was observed within 3 h for all three lines tested and increased signal persisted for at least two days postadministration. There was a linear relationship (R(2) = 0.95) between the PA signal and the concentration of injected molecular imaging agent with a calculated limit of detection of 0.40 nM GNRs in the 2008 cell line. The same molecular imaging agent could be used for clear visualization of the margin between tumor and normal tissue and tumor debulking via surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) imaging. Finally, we validated the imaging findings with biodistribution data and elemental analysis. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of in vivo imaging of ovarian cancer tumors with a photoacoustic and Raman imaging agent.
Project description:Most patients with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) experience drug-resistant disease recurrence. Identification of new treatments is a high priority, and preclinical studies in mouse models of EOC may expedite this goal. We previously developed methods for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for tumor detection and quantification in a transgenic mouse model of EOC. The goal of this study was to determine whether three-dimensional (3D) fluorescence molecular tomography (FMT) and fluorescent molecular imaging probes could be effectively used for in vivo detection of ovarian tumors and response to therapy. Ovarian tumor-bearing TgMISIIR-TAg mice injected with fluorescent probes were subjected to MRI and FMT. Tumor-specific probe retention was identified in vivo by alignment of the 3D data sets, confirmed by ex vivo fluorescent imaging and correlated with histopathologic findings. Mice were treated with standard chemotherapy, and changes in fluorescent probe binding were detected by MRI and FMT. Ovarian tumors were detected using probes specific for cathepsin proteases, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), and integrin ?(v)?(3). Cathepsin and integrin ?(v)?(3) probe activation and retention correlated strongly with tumor volume. MMP probe activation was readily detected in tumors but correlated less strongly with tumor volume. Tumor regression associated with response to therapy was detected and quantified by serial MRI and FMT. These results demonstrate the feasibility and sensitivity of FMT for detection and quantification of tumor-associated biologic targets in ovarian tumors and support the translational utility of molecular imaging to assess functional response to therapy in mouse models of EOC.
Project description:Photoacoustic tomography (PAT) is a molecular imaging technology. Unlike conventional reporter gene imaging, which is usually based on fluorescence, photoacoustic reporter gene imaging relies only on optical absorption. This work demonstrates several key merits of PAT using lacZ, one of the most widely used reporter genes in biology. We show that the expression of lacZ can be imaged by PAT as deep as 5.0 cm in biological tissue, with resolutions of ?1.0 mm and ?0.4 mm in the lateral and axial directions, respectively. We further demonstrate non-invasive, simultaneous imaging of a lacZ-expressing tumor and its surrounding microvasculature in vivo by dual-wavelength acoustic-resolution photoacoustic microscopy (AR-PAM), with a lateral resolution of 45 µm and an axial resolution of 15 µm. Finally, using optical-resolution photoacoustic microscopy (OR-PAM), we show intra-cellular localization of lacZ expression, with a lateral resolution of a fraction of a micron. These results suggest that PAT is a complementary tool to conventional optical fluorescence imaging of reporter genes for linking biological studies from the microscopic to the macroscopic scales.
Project description:A long-standing conundrum is why photoacoustic tomography (PAT) possesses the unique ability to produce images devoid of speckle artifacts while all other coherent imaging technologies do not.In this paper, we explain the inherent mechanism that suppresses speckle in PAT, and the analysis was validated by simulations based on an experimental PAT system.We found that the speckle-free feature of PAT results directly from the optical absorption contrast.All optical absorbers expand on laser excitation, and therefore all initial photoacoustic pressure rises are positive, which engenders strong correlations among the photoacoustic waves from the absorbers. As a result, prominent boundaries always build up in photoacoustic images and suppress the interior speckle.
Project description:The contrast mechanisms used for photoacoustic tomography (PAT) and fluorescence imaging differ in subtle, but significant, ways. The design of contrast agents for each or both modalities requires an understanding of the spectral characteristics as well as intra- and intermolecular interactions that occur during formulation. We found that fluorescence quenching that occurs in the formulation of near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent dyes in nanoparticles results in enhanced contrast for PAT. The ability of the new PAT method to utilize strongly absorbing chromophores for signal generation allowed us to convert a highly fluorescent dye into an exceptionally high PA contrast material. Spectroscopic characterization of the developed NIR dye-loaded perfluorocarbon-based nanoparticles for combined fluorescence and PA imaging revealed distinct dye-dependent photophysical behavior. We demonstrate that the enhanced contrast allows detection of regional lymph nodes of rats in vivo with time-domain optical and photoacoustic imaging methods. The results further show that the use of fluorescence lifetime imaging, which is less dependent on fluorescence intensity, provides a strategic approach to bridge the disparate contrast reporting mechanisms of fluorescence and PA imaging methods.