FIP & Chemistry Seminar: Nanobiophotonics: from Single-Molecule Optical Spectroscopy to Image-Guided Precision Surgery
Nanobiophotonics is an area of considerable current interest in biomedical optics because of its broad applications in biomedical imaging, in-vitro diagnostics, and image-guided surgery. The basic rationale is that nanometer-sized particles such as quantum dots, colloidal gold, and polymeric nanomicelles have functional and structural properties that are not available from either discrete molecules or bulk materials. When conjugated with targeting ligands such as monoclonal antibodies, peptides or small molecules, these nanoparticles can be used to target malignant tumor cells and the tumor microenvironment (such as tumor stroma and tumor vasculatures) with high specificity and affinity. In the "mesoscopic" size range of 10-100 nm, nanoparticles also have large surface areas for conjugating to multiple diagnostic and therapeutic agents, opening new possibilities in imaging, therapy, and surgery. At the present, however, there are several fundamental problems and technical barriers that must be understood and overcome. In this talk, I will discuss the major challenges and opportunities in the development of technology for single-molecule spectroscopy, intraoperative cancer detection, and image-guided precision surgery. This work was supported by grants from the US National Institutes of Health (U54 CA119338, RC2 CA148265, and R01CA163256).