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Opt Express. 2008 Feb 4;16(3):1590-9.

Two-photon-induced photoluminescence imaging of tumors using near-infrared excited gold nanoshells.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas 78712, USA.


Gold nanoshells (dielectric silica core/gold shell) are a novel class of hybrid metal nanoparticles whose unique optical properties have spawned new applications including more sensitive molecular assays and cancer therapy. We report a new photo-physical property of nanoshells (NS) whereby these particles glow brightly when excited by near-infrared light. We characterized the luminescence brightness of NS, comparing to that of gold nanorods (NR) and fluorescent beads (FB). We find that NS are as bright as NR and 140 times brighter than FB. To demonstrate the potential application of this bright two-photon-induced photoluminescence (TPIP) signal for biological imaging, we imaged the 3D distribution of gold nanoshells targeted to murine tumors.

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