Near Infrared light-responsive liposomal contrast agent for photoacoustic imaging and drug release applications
Upputuri, Paul Kumar
Date of Issue2016
School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
Photoacoustic imaging has become an emerging tool for theranostic applications. Not only does it help in in vivo, noninvasive imaging of biological structures at depths but it can also be used for drug release and therapeutic applications. We explore near-infrared light-sensitive liposomes coated with gold nanostars (AuNSs) for both imaging and drug release applications using a photoacoustic imaging system. Being amphiphilic, the liposomes lipid bilayer and the aqueous core enable encapsulation of both hydrophobic and hydrophilic drugs. The AuNSs on the surface of the liposomes act as photon absorbers due to their intrinsic surface plasmon resonance. Upon excitation by laser light at specific wavelength, AuNSs facilitate rapid release of the contents encapsulated in the liposomes due to local heating and pressure wave formation (photoacoustic wave). Herein, we describe the design and optimization of the AuNSs-coated liposomes and demonstrate the release of both hydrophobic and hydrophilic model drugs (paclitaxel and calcein, respectively) through laser excitation at near-infrared wavelength. The use of AuNSs-coated liposomes as contrast agents for photoacoustic imaging is also explored with tissue phantom experiments. In comparison to blood, the AuNSs-coated liposomes have better contrast (approximately two times) at 2-cm imaging depth.
Journal of Biomedical Optics
© 2016 SPIE. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by Journal of Biomedical Optics, SPIE. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JBO.22.4.041007].