Nanoshells in vivo imaging using two-photon excitation microscopy
Dickinson, Mary E.
Master of Science
This thesis describes the development and optical characterization of near infrared (NIR) gold nanoshells for the use as luminescent contrast agents for applications in small animal blood vessel imaging. Two types of gold-silica nanoshells excitable by NIR lasers are investigated: Type 1 nanoshells can be excited with a sub-mum NW laser, whereas Type 2 nanoshells can be excited with a NW laser in the micrometer range. Using NIR microscopy as an imaging platform, ex vivo and in vivo experiments are conducted to determine the efficacy of these nanoshells as suitable contrast agents. Specifically, individual particles of Type 1 nanoshells are successfully imaged and shown to provide bright optical contrast for blood vessel imaging both ex vivo and in vivo, while the Type 2 nanoshells are clearly imaged within the blood vessels ex vivo. These positive results suggest a promising possibility of developing a new class of contrast agents for deep tissue imaging and improving the imaging depth of NIR imaging techniques.
Nanotechnology; Biochemistry; Physiology; Biophysics