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Keywords:

  • gold nanoparticles;
  • gold nanorods;
  • inter-particle coupling;
  • molecular imaging;
  • red-shift;
  • spatial diffusion reflection;
  • cancer detection

Abstract

Spatial diffusion reflection (DR) measurements of gold nanorods (GNR) were recently suggested as a simple and highly sensitive non-invasive and non-ionizing method for real-time cancer detection. In this paper we demonstrate that wavelength dependent DR measurements enable the spectral red-shift observation of highly concentrated GNR. By conjugating targeting moieties to the GNR, large density of GNR can specifically home onto cancer cells. The inter-particle plasmon resonance pattern of the highly concentrated GNR leads to an extension and a red-shift (Δλ) in the absorption spectrum of the concentrated GNR. Dark-field microscopy was used in order to measure the expected Δλ in different GNR concentrations in vitro. Double-wavelength DR measurements of tissue-like phantoms and tumor bearing mice containing different GNR concentrations are presented. We show that the DR profile of the highly concentrated GNR directly correlate with the spectral extension and red-shift. This presented work suggests that wavelength dependent DR method can serve as a promising tool for real-time superficial tumor detection. (© 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)