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Highly Sensitive Fluorescence and Photoacoustic Detection of Metastatic Breast Cancer in Mice Using Dual-Modal Nanoprobes

Lin, Xiangwei, Liu, Chengbo, Sheng, Zonghai, Gong, Xiaojing, Song, Liang, Zhang, Ruifang, Zheng, Hairong, Sun, Mingjian
ACS applied materials & interfaces 2018 v.10 no.31 pp. 26064-26074
acoustics, breast neoplasms, fluorescence, image analysis, lungs, lymph nodes, materials science, metastasis, mice, monitoring, neoplasm cells, prognosis
The biomedical imaging of metastatic breast cancer, especially in lymphatic and lung metastasis, is highly significant in cancer staging as it helps assess disease prognosis and treatment. Using an albumin-indocyanine green dual-modal nanoprobe developed in our laboratory, in vivo fluorescence imaging and photoacoustic imaging of metastatic breast cancer tumors were performed separately. Fluorescence imaging at the near-infrared window features high imaging sensitivity but is generally limited by a low imaging depth. Thus, tumors can only be observed in situ whereas tumor cells in the lymph nodes and lung cannot be imaged in a precise manner. In contrast, photoacoustic imaging often helps overcome the limitations of imaging depth with high acoustic spatial resolution, which could provide complementary information for imaging cancer metastases. Ex vivo fluorescence and photoacoustic imaging were also performed to verify the tumor metastatic route. This study may not only provide insights into the design of dual-modal nanoprobes for breast cancer diagnosis but may also demonstrate the superiority of combined fluorescence imaging and photoacoustic imaging for guiding, monitoring, and evaluating lymphatic and lung metastatic stages of breast cancer with a high imaging specificity as well as sensitivity.