Contrast agents are utilized in virtually every imaging modality to enhance diagnostic capabilities. We introduce a novel class of optical contrast agent, namely, encapsulating microspheres, that are based not on fluorescence but on scattering nanoparticles within the shell or core. The agents are suitable for reflection- or scattering-based techniques such as optical coherence tomography, light microscopy, and reflectance confocal microscopy. We characterize the optical properties of gold-, melanin-, and carbon-shelled contrast agents and demonstrate enhancement of optical coherence tomography imaging after intravenous injection of such an agent into a mouse.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
(160.4760) Materials : Optical properties
(170.4500) Medical optics and biotechnology : Optical coherence tomography
(170.4580) Medical optics and biotechnology : Optical diagnostics for medicine
Tin Man Lee, Amy L. Oldenburg, Shoeb Sitafalwalla, Daniel L. Marks, Wei Luo, Farah Jean-Jacques Toublan, Kenneth S. Suslick, and Stephen A. Boppart, "Engineered microsphere contrast agents for optical coherence tomography," Opt. Lett. 28, 1546-1548 (2003)