3D optical/CT as a preclinical companion imaging platform for glioblastoma drug development

Andrei Molotkov, Mikhail Doubrovin, Nikunj Bhatt, Fang Chi Hsu, Amanda Beserra, Rajiv Chopra, Akiva Mintz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Multimodality 3D Optical Imaging (OI)/CT has the potential to play a major role in drug development for glioblastomas (GBM), as it is an accessible preclinical method. To demonstrate the potential of 3D OI/CT to visualize orthotopic GBM implantation, we labeled GBM cells with Cy7 and imaged their location using 3D OI/CT. To confirm the accuracy of the spatial localization and demonstrate the ability to image locoregionally delivered therapies, we labeled mouse albumin with Cy7 (Cy7ALB) and delivered it via locoregional infusion 1 mm or 3 mm into the brain and demonstrated correlation of signal between the 3D OI/CT and post necropsy brain slices. In addition, we demonstrated the potential of systemically delivered Cy7ALB contrast to detect blood–brain barrier (BBB) permeability caused by orthotopic GBMs using 3D OI/CT. We also tested the potential of 3D OI/CT to assess focal BBB permeability induced by high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), a methodology being used in clinical trials to noninvasively permeabilize the BBB for systemic therapeutic delivery to GBM. We demonstrated the ability of systemic Cy7ALB contrast together with 3D OI/CT to accurately assess real-time HIFU-induced BBB permeability, which correlated to post necropsy imaging of brains. Furthermore, we demonstrated that 3D OI/CT can also image the therapeutic distribution of a Cy7-labeled anti-PD-1 antibody, a prototype translational antibody therapy. We successfully imaged real-time antibody distribution after HIFU-induced BBB permeability, which correlated with post necropsy Cy7 signal and translational PET imaging after injection of [89Zr] anti-PD-1 antibody. Thus, we demonstrated the broad potential of using 3D OI/CT as an accessible preclinical tool to develop anti-GBM therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1686-1694
Number of pages9
JournalDrug Delivery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • 3D optical imaging
  • Blood–brain barrier
  • PET
  • focused ultrasound
  • glioblastoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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