Imaging of tumor hyper-metabolism with near-infrared fluorescence contrast agents

Yu Chen, Gang Zheng, Zhihong Zhang, Dana Blessington, Xavier Intes, Samuel Achilefu, Britton Chance

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


We have developed a high sensitivity near-infrared (NIR) optical imaging system for non-invasive cancer detection through molecular labeled fluorescent contrast agents. Near-infrared (NIR) imaging can probe tissue deeply thus possess the potential for non-invasively detection of breast or lymph node cancer. Recent developments in molecular beacons can selectively label various pre-caner/cancer signatures and provide high tumor to background contrast. To increase the sensitivity in detecting fluorescent photons and the accuracy of localization, phase cancellation (in- and anti-phase) device is employed. This frequency-domain system utilizes the interference-like pattern of diffuse photon density wave to achieve high detection sensitivity and localization accuracy for the fluorescent heterogeneity embedded inside the scattering media. The opto-clcctronic system consists of the laser sources, fiber optics, interference filter to select the fluorescent photons and the high sensitivity photon detector (photomultiplier tube). The source-detector pair scans the tissue surface in multiple directions and the two-dimensional localization image can be obtained using goniometric reconstruction. In vivo measurements with tumor-bearing mouse model using the novel Cypate-mono-2-deoxy-glucose (Cypate-2-D-Glucosamide) fluorescent contrast agent, which targets the enhanced tumor glycolysis, demonstrated the feasibility on detection of 2 cm deep subsurface tumor in the tissue-like medium, with a localization accuracy within 2-3 mm. This instrument has the potential for tumor diagnosis and imaging, and the accuracy of the localization suggests that this system could help to guide the clinical fine-needle biopsy. This portable device would be complementary to X-ray mammogram and provide add-on information on early diagnosis and localization of early breast tumor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5474-19
Pages (from-to)147-153
Number of pages7
JournalProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
Issue number29
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes
EventSaratov Fall Meeting 2003 - Optical Technologies in Biophysics and Medicine V - Saratov
Duration: Oct 7 2003Oct 10 2003


  • Contrast agent
  • Early tumor detection
  • Fluorescence
  • Near-infrared
  • Phased array imaging
  • Tricarbocaynine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Imaging of tumor hyper-metabolism with near-infrared fluorescence contrast agents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this