Confocal visible/NIR photoacoustic microscopy of tumors with structural, functional, and nanoprobe contrasts

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1875-1880
Journal / PublicationPhotonics Research
Issue number12
Online published19 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


Distinguishing early-stage tumors from normal tissues is of great importance in cancer diagnosis. We report fiber-based confocal visible/near-infrared (NIR) optical-resolution photoacoustic microscopy that can image tumor microvasculature, oxygen saturation, and nanoprobes in a single scanning. We develop a cost-efficient single laser source that provides 532, 558, and 1064 nm pulsed light with sub-microseconds wavelength switching time. Via dual-fiber illumination, we can focus the three beams to the same point. The optical and acoustic foci are confocally aligned to optimize the sensitivity. The visible and NIR wavelengths enable simultaneous tumor imaging with three different contrast modes. Results show obvious angiogenesis, significantly elevated oxygen saturation, and accumulated nanoparticles in the tumor regions, which offer comprehensive information to detect the tumor. This approach also allows us to identify feeding and draining vessels of the tumor and thus to determine local oxygen extraction fraction. In the tumor region, the oxygen extraction fraction significantly decreases along with tumor growth, which can also assist in tumor detection and staging. Fiber-based confocal visible/NIR photoacoustic microscopy offers a new tool for early detection of cancer.