High-speed Raman-encoded molecular imaging of freshly excised tissue surfaces with topically applied SERRS nanoparticles.

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Journal of biomedical optics


Raman spectroscopy; biomedical optics; molecular imaging; nanomedicine; surgical guidance


Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) nanoparticles (NPs) are increasingly being engineered for a variety of disease-detection and treatment applications. For example, we have previously developed a fiber-optic Raman-encoded molecular imaging (REMI) system for spectral imaging of biomarker-targeted SERS NPs topically applied on tissue surfaces to identify residual tumors at surgical margins. Although accurate tumor detection was achieved, the commercial SERS NPs used in our previous studies lacked the signal strength to enable high-speed imaging with high pixel counts (large fields of view and/or high spatial resolution), which limits their use for certain time-constrained clinical applications. As a solution, we explored the use of surface-enhanced resonant Raman scattering (SERRS) NPs to enhance imaging speeds. The SERRS NPs were synthesized de novo, and then conjugated to HER2 antibodies to achieve high binding affinity, as validated by flow cytometry. Under identical tissue-staining and imaging conditions, the targeted SERRS NPs enabled reliable identification of HER2-overexpressed tumor xenografts with 50-fold-enhanced imaging speed compared with our standard targeted SERS NPs. This enables our REMI system to image tissue surfaces at a rate of 150  cm2 per minute at a spatial resolution of 0.5 mm.


Institute for Systems Biology