Engineering functionalized gold nanoparticles as a molecular-specific contrast agent to enhance optoacoustic detection of breast cancer cells

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Engineering functionalized gold nanoparticles as a molecular-specific contrast agent to enhance optoacoustic detection of breast cancer cells

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Title: Engineering functionalized gold nanoparticles as a molecular-specific contrast agent to enhance optoacoustic detection of breast cancer cells
Author: Mohammad Eghtedari
Abstract: Molecular targeting of malignant tumors is a promising field of research that could potentially revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of many types of cancer including breast. Delivering molecular specific contrast agents to breast cancer cells would enhance the sensitivity and specificity of imaging methods to detect cancer foci at earlier stages, when complete cure is possible. Optoacoustic tomography (OAT) is a non-invasive imaging modality that can be used to produce an image of the distribution of light absorbing components deep within a turbid medium such as human breast. OAT could potentially be used to image breast tumors based on their enhanced angiogenesis; however, its sensitivity and specificity would be limited due to the lack of abnormal angiogenesis at the early stages of tumor growth.\r\nGold nanoparticles generate strong acoustic signal upon pulse laser irradiation and thus are detectable at low concentrations using optoacoustic technique. The goal of this dissertation is to engineer functionalized gold nanoparticles and employ them as a contrast agent for optoacoustic detection of cancer cells.\r\nTo achieve this goal: 1) gold nanoparticles were fabricated in different shape and sizes and their physicochemical properties were optimized for both tumor targeting and optoacoustic detection; 2) the biological properties of fabricated gold nanoparticles were evaluated in vitro and in vivo by determining their stability, toxicity, biodistribution, and molecular targeting properties; 3) the performance of gold nanoparticles to target cancer cells and function as a contrast agent for OAT were assessed in vitro using breast phantoms and then in vivo using animal models.\r\n
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2152.3/285
Date: 2008-12-02

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