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Opt Express. 2008 Jul 21;16(15):11525-39.

Phase-resolved magnetomotive OCT for imaging nanomolar concentrations of magnetic nanoparticles in tissues.

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  • 1Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.


Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) are increasingly important in magnetic resonance and biomedical optical imaging. We describe a method for imaging MNPs by detecting nanoscale displacements using a phase-resolved spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) system. Biological tissues and phantoms are exposed to approximately 800 G magnetic fields modulated at 56 and 100 Hz to mechanically actuate embedded iron oxide MNPs (approximately 20 nm diameter). Sensitivity to 27 microg/g (approximately 2 nM) MNPs within tissue phantoms is achieved by filtering paramagnetic from diamagnetic vibrations. We demonstrate biological feasibility by imaging topically applied MNPs during their diffusion into an excised rat tumor over a 2 hour time period.

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