Photoacoustic imaging of gold nanorods in the brain delivered via microbubble-assisted focused ultrasound: a tool for in vivo molecular neuroimaging

Robin K Hartman, Kristina A Hallam, Eleanor M Donnelly, Stanislav Y Emelianov
Laser Physics Letters2019
The protective barriers of the CNS present challenges during the treatment and monitoring of diseases. In particular, the blood brain barrier is a major hindrance to the delivery of imaging contrast agents and therapeutics to the brain. In this work, we use gas microbubble-assisted focused ultrasound to transiently open the blood brain barrier and locally deliver silica coated gold nanorods across the barrier. This particular nanoagent possesses a strong optical absorption which enables in vivo and ex vivo visualization of the delivered particles using ultrasound-guided photoacoustic imaging. The results of these studies demonstrate the potential of ultrasound-guided photoacoustics to image contrast agents delivered via microbubble-assisted focused ultrasound for longitudinal diagnostic imaging and for therapeutic monitoring of neurological diseases.

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