Time-Resolved Synchronous Fluorescence for Biomedical Diagnosis.

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2015-08-31

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This article presents our most recent advances in synchronous fluorescence (SF) methodology for biomedical diagnostics. The SF method is characterized by simultaneously scanning both the excitation and emission wavelengths while keeping a constant wavelength interval between them. Compared to conventional fluorescence spectroscopy, the SF method simplifies the emission spectrum while enabling greater selectivity, and has been successfully used to detect subtle differences in the fluorescence emission signatures of biochemical species in cells and tissues. The SF method can be used in imaging to analyze dysplastic cells in vitro and tissue in vivo. Based on the SF method, here we demonstrate the feasibility of a time-resolved synchronous fluorescence (TRSF) method, which incorporates the intrinsic fluorescent decay characteristics of the fluorophores. Our prototype TRSF system has clearly shown its advantage in spectro-temporal separation of the fluorophores that were otherwise difficult to spectrally separate in SF spectroscopy. We envision that our previously-tested SF imaging and the newly-developed TRSF methods will combine their proven diagnostic potentials in cancer diagnosis to further improve the efficacy of SF-based biomedical diagnostics.

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10.3390/s150921746

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Zhang, Xiaofeng, Andrew Fales and Tuan Vo-Dinh (2015). Time-Resolved Synchronous Fluorescence for Biomedical Diagnosis. Sensors (Basel), 15(9). pp. 21746–21759. 10.3390/s150921746 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/11299.

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Vo-Dinh

Tuan Vo-Dinh

R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Dr. Tuan Vo-Dinh is R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Professor of Chemistry, and Director of The Fitzpatrick Institute for Photonics.

Dr. Vo-Dinh’s research activities and interests involve biophotonics, nanophotonics, plasmonics, laser-excited luminescence spectroscopy, room temperature phosphorimetry, synchronous luminescence spectroscopy, and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy for multi-modality bioimaging, and theranostics (diagnostics and therapy) of diseases such as cancer and infectious diseases.

We have pioneered the development of a new generation of gene biosensing probes using surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) detection with “Molecular Sentinels” and Plasmonic Coupling Interference (PCI) molecular probes for multiplex and label-free detection of nucleic acid biomarkers (DNA, mRNA, microRNA) in early detection of a wide variety of diseases.

In genomic and precision medicine, nucleic acid-based molecular diagnosis is of paramount importance with many advantages such as high specificity, high sensitivity, serotyping capability, and mutation detection. Using SERS-based plasmonic nanobiosensors and nanochips, we are developing novel nucleic acid detection methods that can be integrated into lab-on-a-chip systems for point-of-care diagnosis  (e.g., breast, GI cancer) and global health applications (e.g., detection of malaria and dengue).

In bioimaging, we are developing a novel multifunctional gold nanostar (GNS) probe for use in multi-modality bioimaging in pre-operative scans with PET, MRI and CT, intraoperative margin delineation with optical imaging, SERS and two-photon luminescence (TPL). The GNS can be used also for cancer treatment with plasmonics enhanced photothermal therapy (PTT), thus providing an excellent platform for seamless diagnostics and therapy (i.e., theranostics). Preclinical studies have shown its great potential for cancer diagnostics and therapeutics for future clinical translation.

For fundamental studies, various nanobiosensors are being developed for monitoring intracellular parameters (e.g., pH) and biomolecular processes (e.g., apoptosis, caspases), opening the possibility for fundamental molecular biological research as well as biomedical applications (e.g., drug discovery) at the single cell level in a systems biology approach. For point of care diagnostics, nanoprobes and nanochips with highly multiplex SERS detection and imaging use artificial intelligence and machine learning for data analysis.

Our research activities in immunotherapy involve unique plasmonics-active gold “nanostars.” These star-shaped nanobodies made of gold work like “lightning rods,” concentrating the electromagnetic energy at their tips and allowing them to capture photon energy more efficiently when irradiated by laser light. Teaming with medical collaborators, we have developed a novel cancer treatment modality, called synergistic immuno photothermal nanotherapy (SYMPHONY), which combines immune-checkpoint inhibition and gold nanostar–mediated photothermal immunotherapy that can unleash the immunotherapeutic efficacy of checkpoint inhibitors. This combination treatment can eradicate the primary tumors as well as distant “untreated” tumors, and induce immunologic memory like a “anti-cancer vaccine” effect in murine model.


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