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Biomedical Optics Express

Biomedical Optics Express

  • Editor: Joseph A. Izatt
  • Vol. 3, Iss. 7 — Jul. 1, 2012
  • pp: 1534–1547

Highly sensitive detection of cancer cells using femtosecond dual-wavelength near-IR two-photon imaging

Jean R. Starkey, Nikolay S. Makarov, Mikhail Drobizhev, and Aleksander Rebane  »View Author Affiliations

Biomedical Optics Express, Vol. 3, Issue 7, pp. 1534-1547 (2012)

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We describe novel imaging protocols that allow detection of small cancer cell colonies deep inside tissue phantoms with high sensitivity and specificity. We compare fluorescence excited in Styryl-9M molecules by femtosecond pulses at near IR wavelengths, where Styryl-9M shows the largest dependence of the two-photon absorption (2PA) cross section on the local environment. We show that by calculating the normalized ratio of the two-photon excited fluorescence (2PEF) intensity at 1200 nm and 1100 nm excitation wavelengths we can achieve high sensitivity and specificity for determining the location of cancer cells surrounded by normal cells. The 2PEF results showed a positive correlation with the levels of MDR1 proteins expressed by the cells, and, for high MDR1 expressors, as few as ten cancer cells could be detected. Similar high sensitivity is also demonstrated for tumor colonies induced in mouse external ears. This technique could be useful in early cancer detection, and, perhaps, also in monitoring dormant cancer deposits.

© 2012 OSA

OCIS Codes
(170.3880) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical and biological imaging
(190.4180) Nonlinear optics : Multiphoton processes

ToC Category:
Spectroscopic Diagnostics

Original Manuscript: May 10, 2012
Revised Manuscript: May 30, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: June 1, 2012
Published: June 6, 2012

Jean R. Starkey, Nikolay S. Makarov, Mikhail Drobizhev, and Aleksander Rebane, "Highly sensitive detection of cancer cells using femtosecond dual-wavelength near-IR two-photon imaging," Biomed. Opt. Express 3, 1534-1547 (2012)

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