New contrast agents for multi-label molecular imaging

Optical molecular imaging could potentially allow non-invasive high-resolution characterization and diagnosis of living tissue. The capability to image multiple molecular targets simultaneously is particularly important. Currently this task may not be achieved using conventional optical contrast agents due to their broad spectral responses (~80-200 nm). Ultra-sharp light scattering resonances generated by structured nanospheres may potentially facilitate imaging of a wide range of molecular signatures of various diseases and monitoring of molecular events for biological, medical and biomaterials research.

We have developed a novel class of contrast agents for multi-label optical molecular imaging based on multi-layered nanospheres that enable tunable ultra-sharp resonance peaks with widths as narrow as 10 nm. Dozens of molecular targets can be potentially imaged simultaneously using this approach.

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Backman's Biophotonics Laboratory at Northwestern University

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