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1.  Noninvasive diffuse optical monitoring of head and neck tumor blood flow and oxygenation during radiation delivery 
Biomedical Optics Express  2012;3(2):259-272.
This study explored using a novel diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS) flow-oximeter to noninvasively monitor blood flow and oxygenation changes in head and neck tumors during radiation delivery. A fiber-optic probe connected to the DCS flow-oximeter was placed on the surface of the radiologically/clinically involved cervical lymph node. The DCS flow-oximeter in the treatment room was remotely operated by a computer in the control room. From the early measurements, abnormal signals were observed when the optical device was placed in close proximity to the radiation beams. Through phantom tests, the artifacts were shown to be caused by scattered x rays and consequentially avoided by moving the optical device away from the x-ray beams. Eleven patients with head and neck tumors were continually measured once a week over a treatment period of seven weeks, although there were some missing data due to the patient related events. Large inter-patient variations in tumor hemodynamic responses were observed during radiation delivery. A significant increase in tumor blood flow was observed at the first week of treatment, which may be a physiologic response to hypoxia created by radiation oxygen consumption. Only small and insignificant changes were found in tumor blood oxygenation, suggesting that oxygen utilizations in tumors during the short period of fractional radiation deliveries were either minimal or balanced by other effects such as blood flow regulation. Further investigations in a large patient population are needed to correlate the individual hemodynamic responses with the clinical outcomes for determining the prognostic value of optical measurements.
PMCID: PMC3269843  PMID: 22312579
(170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology; (170.3660) Light propagation in tissues; (170.3880) Medical and biological imaging; (170.6480) Spectroscopy, speckle
2.  Influences of tissue absorption and scattering on diffuse correlation spectroscopy blood flow measurements 
Biomedical Optics Express  2011;2(7):1969-1985.
In this study we evaluate the influences of optical property assumptions on near-infrared diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS) flow index measurements. The optical properties, absorption coefficient (µa) and reduced scattering coefficient (µs′), are independently varied using liquid phantoms and measured concurrently with the flow index using a hybrid optical system combining a dual-wavelength DCS flow device with a commercial frequency-domain tissue-oximeter. DCS flow indices are calculated at two wavelengths (785 and 830 nm) using measured µa and µs′ or assumed constant µa and µs′. Inaccurate µs′ assumptions resulted in much greater flow index errors than inaccurate µa. Underestimated/overestimated µs′ from −35%/+175% lead to flow index errors of +110%/−80%, whereas underestimated/overestimated µa from −40%/+150% lead to −20%/+40%, regardless of the wavelengths used. Examination of a clinical study involving human head and neck tumors indicates up to +280% flow index errors resulted from inter-patient optical property variations. These findings suggest that studies involving significant µa and µs′ changes should concurrently measure flow index and optical properties for accurate extraction of blood flow information.
PMCID: PMC3130582  PMID: 21750773
(170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology; (170.3660) Light propagation in tissues; (170.3880) Medical and biological imaging; (170.6480) Spectroscopy, speckle
3.  Nanofibers and nanoparticles from the insect-capturing adhesive of the Sundew (Drosera) for cell attachment 
The search for naturally occurring nanocomposites with diverse properties for tissue engineering has been a major interest for biomaterial research. In this study, we investigated a nanofiber and nanoparticle based nanocomposite secreted from an insect-capturing plant, the Sundew, for cell attachment. The adhesive nanocomposite has demonstrated high biocompatibility and is ready to be used with minimal preparation.
Atomic force microscopy (AFM) conducted on the adhesive from three species of Sundew found that a network of nanofibers and nanoparticles with various sizes existed independent of the coated surface. AFM and light microscopy confirmed that the pattern of nanofibers corresponded to Alcian Blue staining for polysaccharide. Transmission electron microscopy identified a low abundance of nanoparticles in different pattern form AFM observations. In addition, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy revealed the presence of Ca, Mg, and Cl, common components of biological salts. Study of the material properties of the adhesive yielded high viscoelasticity from the liquid adhesive, with reduced elasticity observed in the dried adhesive. The ability of PC12 neuron-like cells to attach and grow on the network of nanofibers created from the dried adhesive demonstrated the potential of this network to be used in tissue engineering, and other biomedical applications.
This discovery demonstrates how a naturally occurring nanofiber and nanoparticle based nanocomposite from the adhesive of Sundew can be used for tissue engineering, and opens the possibility for further examination of natural plant adhesives for biomedical applications.
PMCID: PMC2931452  PMID: 20718990

Results 1-3 (3)