Pump-Probe Molecular Imaging
In this dissertation, we develop pump probe spectroscopy as a method to differentiate different chemical varieties of melanin, a common biopigment, and exploit these differences to improve the accuracy of melanoma diagnosis. This method gives insight into the chemical makeup and secondary structure of melanins. Pump probe spectroscopy is implemented in a scanning laser microscope as a form of multiphoton imaging, where it is used to image biopsies of human pigmented cutaneous lesions. Melanoma diagnosis is clinically challenging: the accuracy of visual inspection by dermatologists is highly variable and heavily weighted toward false positives. Even the current gold standard of biopsy results in varying diagnoses among pathologists. Using pump probe imaging, significant chemical and morphological changes were found between melanoma and melanocytic nevi, including increased eumelanin content, chemical heterogeneity and general pigmentation. Signal processing methods revealed further differences between melanoma and melanocytic nevi on the cellular scale. Pump probe imaging directly in H&E stained biopsy samples allows integration of this technique with existing histopathology protocols. High resolution imaging found chemical heterogeneity of melanin within pigmented cells. We show that oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin may also be differentiated by pump probe imaging. Epi mode imaging of eumelanin, pheomelanin and microvasculature is demonstrated in vivo in human xenograft mouse models of melanoma.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Rights for Collection: Duke Dissertations