Photothermal detection of gold nanoparticles using phase-sensitive optical coherence tomography

Desmond C Adler, Shu-Wei Huang, Robert Huber, James G Fujimoto
Optics Express 2008 March 31, 16 (7): 4376-93
The detection of a gold nanoparticle contrast agent is demonstrated using a photothermal modulation technique and phase sensitive optical coherence tomography (OCT). A focused beam from a laser diode at 808 nm is modulated at frequencies of 500 Hz-60 kHz while irradiating a solution containing nanoshells. Because the nanoshells are designed to have a high absorption coefficient at 808 nm, the laser beam induces small-scale localized temperature oscillations at the modulation frequency. These temperature oscillations result in optical path length changes that are detected by a phase-sensitive, swept source OCT system. The OCT system uses a double-buffered Fourier domain mode locked (FDML) laser operating at a center wavelength of 1315 nm and a sweep rate of 240 kHz. High contrast is observed between phantoms containing nanoshells and phantoms without nanoshells. This technique represents a new method for detecting gold nanoparticle contrast agents with excellent signal-to-noise performance at high speeds using OCT.

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