Gold nanorods for ovarian cancer detection with photoacoustic imaging and resection guidance via Raman imaging in living mice.

Jesse V ; Cole Adam Jokerst, Adam J Cole, Dominique Van de Sompel, Sanjiv S Gambhir
ACS nano2012
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.

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