In vivo Raman flow cytometry for real-time detection of carbon nanotube kinetics in lymph, blood, and tissues
Nanoparticles are intensively being explored as contrast agents for medical diagnostics and therapies using various optical methods. We present the first demonstration of the use of time-resolved Raman spectroscopy for in vivo real-time detection of circulating carbon nanotubes (CNTs) or cancer cells labeled with CNTs in the lymph, blood, and tissues of live animals with fast spectral acquisition times of down to few milliseconds. After intravenously administering CNTs in the tail vein of the rat, this technique provides the ability to detect the circulation of CNTs in the blood microvessels of the intact rat ear. The capability of Raman spectroscopy is also demonstrated to monitor, identify, and image the CNTs during their transportation by lymphatics in the rat ear and mesentery. The strong and specific Raman scattering properties of CNTs make it possible to detect in vitro and in vivo single cancer cells (HeLa) tagged with CNTs. In vivo Raman flow cytometry opens a new avenue for multiparameter analysis of circulating nanoparticles with strong Raman scattering properties and their pharmokinetics in blood and lymph systems. Moreover, this technology has the potential for molecular detection and identification of circulating tumor cells, and infections labeled with CNTs.
This paper was published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 14