3-D photoacoustic and pulse echo imaging of prostate tumor progression in the mouse window chamber

J Biomed Opt. 2011 Feb;16(2):026012. doi: 10.1117/1.3540668.


Understanding the tumor microenvironment is critical to characterizing how cancers operate and predicting their response to treatment. We describe a novel, high-resolution coregistered photoacoustic (PA) and pulse echo (PE) ultrasound system used to image the tumor microenvironment. Compared to traditional optical systems, the platform provides complementary contrast and important depth information. Three mice are implanted with a dorsal skin flap window chamber and injected with PC-3 prostate tumor cells transfected with green fluorescent protein. The ensuing tumor invasion is mapped during three weeks or more using simultaneous PA and PE imaging at 25 MHz, combined with optical and fluorescent techniques. Pulse echo imaging provides details of tumor structure and the surrounding environment with 100-μm(3) resolution. Tumor size increases dramatically with an average volumetric growth rate of 5.35 mm(3)/day, correlating well with 2-D fluorescent imaging (R = 0.97, p < 0.01). Photoacoustic imaging is able to track the underlying vascular network and identify hemorrhaging, while PA spectroscopy helps classify blood vessels according to their optical absorption spectrum, suggesting variation in blood oxygen saturation. Photoacoustic and PE imaging are safe, translational modalities that provide enhanced depth resolution and complementary contrast to track the tumor microenvironment, evaluate new cancer therapies, and develop molecular contrast agents in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / instrumentation*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler / instrumentation*