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Opt Lett. 2004 Jun 15;29(12):1396-8.

Protein-based molecular contrast optical coherence tomography with phytochrome as the contrast agent.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Engineering, 136 Hudson Hall, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708, USA.


We report the use of phytochrome A (phyA), a plant protein that can reversibly switch between two states with different absorption maxima (at 660 and 730 nm), as a contrast agent for molecular contrast optical coherence tomography (MCOCT). Our MCOCT scheme builds up a difference image revealing the distribution of phyA within a target sample from pairs of consecutive OCT A-scans acquired at a probe wavelength of 750 nm, both with and without additional illumination of the target sample with 660-nm light. We demonstrate molecular imaging with this new MCOCT modality in a target sample containing a mixture of 0.2% Intralipid and 83 microM of phyA.

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