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Opt Express. 2012 May 21;20(11):11598-604. doi: 10.1364/OE.20.011598.

Radioluminescent nanophosphors enable multiplexed small-animal imaging.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


We demonstrate the ability to image multiple nanoparticle-based contrast agents simultaneously using a nanophosphor platform excited by either radiopharmaceutical or X-ray irradiation. These radioluminescent nanoparticles emit optical light at unique wavelengths depending on their lanthanide dopant, enabling multiplexed imaging. This study demonstrates the separation of two distinct nanophosphor contrast agents in gelatin phantoms with a recovered phosphor separation correlation of -0.98. The ability to distinguish the two nanophosphors and a Cerenkov component is then demonstrated in a small animal phantom. Combined with the high-resolution potential of low-scattering X-ray excitation, this imaging technique may be a promising method to probe molecular processes in living organisms.

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