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Theranostics. 2014 Aug 1;4(10):1026-38. doi: 10.7150/thno.9754. eCollection 2014.

India ink incorporated multifunctional phase-transition nanodroplets for photoacoustic/ultrasound dual-modality imaging and photoacoustic effect based tumor therapy.

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Institute of Ultrasound Imaging, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400010, China.
3. Research Lab for Biomedical Optics and Molecular Imaging, Shenzhen Key Lab for Molecular Imaging, Institute of Biomedical and Health Engineering, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen 518055, China.
4. Department of Ultrasound, The Children's Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400014, China.
2. Department of Ophthalmology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400010, China.


The in vivo applications of gas-core microbubbles have been limited by gas diffusion, rapid body clearance, and poor vascular permeability. To overcome these limitations, using a modified three-step emulsion process, we have developed a first-of-its-kind India ink incorporated optically-triggerable phase-transition perfluorocarbon nanodroplets (INDs) that can provide not only three types of contrast mechanisms-conventional/thermoelastic photoacoustic, phase-transition/nonlinear photoacoustic, and ultrasound imaging contrasts, but also a new avenue for photoacoustic effect mediated tumor therapy. Upon pulsed laser illumination above a relatively low energy threshold, liquid-gas phase transition of the INDs has been demonstrated both in vitro and in vivo, offering excellent contrasts for photoacoustic and ultrasound dual-modality imaging. With further increased laser energy, the nanodroplets have been shown to be capable of destructing cancer cells in vivo, presumably due to the photoacoustic effect induced shock-wave generation from the carbon particles of the incorporated India ink. The demonstrated results suggest that the developed multifunctional phase-transition nanodroplets have a great potential for many theranostic biomedical applications, including photoacoustic/ultrasound dual-modality molecular imaging and targeted, localized cancer therapy.


India Ink; nanodroplets

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