Abstract

Advances in scattering-based optical imaging technologies offer a new approach to noninvasive point-of-care detection, diagnosis, and monitoring of cancer. Emerging photonics technologies provide a cost-effective means to image tissue in vivo with high resolution in real time. Advancing the clinical potential of these imaging strategies requires the development of optical contrast agents targeted to specific molecular signatures of disease. We describe the use of a novel class of contrast agents based on nanoshell bioconjugates for molecular imaging in living cells. Nanoshells offer significant advantages over conventional imaging probes including continuous and broad wavelength tunability, far greater scattering and absorption coefficients, increased chemical stability, and improved biocompatibility. We show that nanoshell bioconjugates can be used to effectively target and image human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), a clinically relevant biomarker, in live human breast carcinoma cells.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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