Recently, a dual photoacoustic and ultrasound contrast agent—named photoacoustic nanodroplet—has been introduced. Photoacoustic nanodroplets consist of a perfluorocarbon core, surfactant shell, and encapsulated photoabsorber. Upon pulsed laser irradiation the perfluorocarbon converts to gas, inducing a photoacoustic signal from vaporization and subsequent ultrasound contrast from the resulting gas microbubbles. In this work we synthesize nanodroplets which encapsulate gold nanorods with a peak absorption near 1064 nm. Such nanodroplets are optimal for extended photoacoustic imaging depth and contrast, safety and system cost. We characterized the nanodroplets for optical absorption, image contrast and vaporization threshold. We then imaged the particles in an ex vivo porcine tissue sample, reporting contrast enhancement in a biological environment. These 1064 nm triggerable photoacoustic nanodroplets are a robust biomedical tool to enhance image contrast at clinically relevant depths.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics