Molecular CT Imaging of Cancer using Targeted Gold Nanoparticles
We are studying the use of gold nanoparticles as contrast agents for targeted imaging of malignant tumors. We have recently demonstrated tumor diagnostics based on molecular markers conjugated to gold nanoparticles, which were tracked by the most widely available imaging technique – computed tomography (CT). Our innovative imaging approach expands the role of CT beyond its present structural imaging capability, endowing it with functional and molecular-based imaging capabilities as well. The long-term goal of this research is to develop a non-invasive and non-ionizing molecular imaging tool, which will facilitate early tumor detection based on molecular markers, and provide a new technique for investigating real-time expression and activity of cancer-related biomarkers and molecular processes, in vivo.