Rapid Differential Diagnosis of Breast Microcalcification Using Targeted Near-Infrared Fluorophores

Adv Healthc Mater. 2018 Apr;7(7):e1701062. doi: 10.1002/adhm.201701062. Epub 2017 Dec 6.


Early detection and differential diagnosis of breast microcalcifications are of significant importance in effective treatment of early breast cancer, because mineral composition of breast calcification is directly associated with different pathological states. However, applying image-based modalities for component identification in breast calcification remains challenging, because no calcification-specific contrast agent is available to distinguish between benign and malignant (type I and type II, respectively) calcifications of breast lesions. In this study, real-time near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence imaging of breast microcalcifications using targeted NIR fluorophores in combination with dual-channel NIR fluorescence imaging system is reported. This strategy can be used to solve major problem in mammography and ultrasonography methods for the differentiation of benign and malignant microcalcifications. Thus, this novel technology shows significant potential for breast cancer diagnosis and image-guided surgery performed with increased precision and efficiency by providing differential diagnosis of breast microcalcifications.

Keywords: image-guided surgery; microcalcification; near-infrared fluorescence; optical imaging; targeted fluorophores.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Calcinosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Contrast Media / chemistry
  • Contrast Media / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry
  • Fluorescent Dyes / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • MCF-7 Cells
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Middle Aged
  • Optical Imaging / methods*


  • Contrast Media
  • Fluorescent Dyes