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1.  Multispectral optoacoustic tomography of myocardial infarction 
Photoacoustics  2012;1(1):3-8.
► Multispectral optoacoustics enables in vivo preclinical imaging of heart infarct. ► The spatial resolution is superior to previous deep-tissue optical techniques. ► Molecular contrast is provided by an exogenous inflammation-targeted agent. ► Endogenous contrast provides an anatomical reference for the molecular signal.
To investigate the feasibility of a high resolution optical imaging strategy for myocardial infarction.
Near-infrared approaches to imaging cardiovascular disease enable visualization of disease-associated biological processes in vivo. However, even at the scale of small animals, the strong scattering of light prevents high resolution imaging after the first 1–2 mm of tissue, leading to degraded signal localization.
Multispectral optoacoustic tomography (MSOT) was used to non-invasively image myocardial infarction (MI) in a murine model of coronary artery ligation at resolutions not possible with current deep-tissue optical imaging methods. Post-MI imaging was based on resolving the spectral absorption signature of a dendritic polyglycerol sulfate-based (dPGS) near-infrared imaging agent targeted to P- and L-selectin.
In vivo imaging succeeded in detection of the agent in the injured myocardium after intravenous injection. The high anatomic resolution (<200 μm) achieved by the described method allowed signals originating in the infarcted heart to be distinguished from uptake in adjacent regions. Histological analysis found dPGS signal in infarcted areas, originating from leukocytes and endothelial cells.
MSOT imaging of myocardial infarction provides non-invasive visualization of optical contrast with a high spatial resolution that is not degraded by the scattering of light.
PMCID: PMC4182822  PMID: 25327410
Myocardial infarction; Optical imaging; Optoacoustic imaging
2.  Fast Multispectral Optoacoustic Tomography (MSOT) for Dynamic Imaging of Pharmacokinetics and Biodistribution in Multiple Organs 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(1):e30491.
The characterization of pharmacokinetic and biodistribution profiles is an essential step in the development process of new candidate drugs or imaging agents. Simultaneously, the assessment of organ function related to the uptake and clearance of drugs is of great importance. To this end, we demonstrate an imaging platform capable of high-rate characterization of the dynamics of fluorescent agents in multiple organs using multispectral optoacoustic tomography (MSOT). A spatial resolution of approximately 150 µm through mouse cross-sections allowed us to image blood vessels, the kidneys, the liver and the gall bladder. In particular, MSOT was employed to characterize the removal of indocyanine green from the systemic circulation and its time-resolved uptake in the liver and gallbladder. Furthermore, it was possible to track the uptake of a carboxylate dye in separate regions of the kidneys. The results demonstrate the acquisition of agent concentration metrics at rates of 10 samples per second at a single wavelength and 17 s per multispectral sample with 10 signal averages at each of 5 wavelengths. Overall, such imaging performance introduces previously undocumented capabilities of fast, high resolution in vivo imaging of the fate of optical agents for drug discovery and basic biological research.
PMCID: PMC3266258  PMID: 22295087
3.  Multispectral Optoacoustic Tomography of Matrix Metalloproteinase Activity in Vulnerable Human Carotid Plaques 
Molecular Imaging and Biology  2011;14(3):277-285.
Elevated expression of cathepsins, integrins and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) is typically associated with atherosclerotic plaque instability. While fluorescent tagging of such molecules has been amply demonstrated, no imaging method was so far shown capable of resolving these inflammation-associated tags with high fidelity and resolution beyond microscopic depths. This study is aimed at demonstrating a new method with high potential for noninvasive clinical cardiovascular diagnostics of vulnerable plaques using high-resolution deep-tissue multispectral optoacoustic tomography (MSOT) technology.
Methods and results
MMP-sensitive activatable fluorescent probe (MMPSense™ 680) was applied to human carotid plaques from symptomatic patients. Atherosclerotic activity was detected by tuning MSOT wavelengths to activation-dependent absorption changes of the molecules, structurally modified in the presence of enzymes. MSOT analysis simultaneously provided morphology along with heterogeneous MMP activity with better than 200 micron resolution throughout the intact plaque tissue. The results corresponded well with epi-fluorescence images made from thin cryosections. Elevated MMP activity was further confirmed by in situ zymography, accompanied by increased macrophage influx.
We demonstrated, for the first time to our knowledge, the ability of MSOT to provide volumetric images of activatable molecular probe distribution deep within optically diffuse tissues. High-resolution mapping of MMP activity was achieved deep in the vulnerable plaque of intact human carotid specimens. This performance directly relates to pre-clinical screening applications in animal models and to clinical decision potential as it might eventually allow for highly specific visualization and staging of plaque vulnerability thus impacting therapeutic clinical decision making.
PMCID: PMC3346936  PMID: 21720908
Atherosclerosis; Optoacoustic imaging; Carotid arteries; Plaque; Contrast media; Inflammation; Medicine & Public Health; Imaging / Radiology

Results 1-3 (3)