Optical coherence contrast imaging using gold nanorods in living mice eyes

Adam de la Zerda, Shradha Prabhulkar, Victor L. Perez, Marco Ruggeri, Amit S. Paranjape, Frezghi Habte, Sanjiv S. Gambhir, Richard M. Awdeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Background: Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a powerful imaging modality to visualize tissue structures, with axial image pixel resolution as high as 1.6μm in tissue. However, OCT is intrinsically limited to providing structural information as the OCT contrast is produced by optically scattering tissues. Methods: Gold nanorods (GNRs) were injected into the anterior chamber (AC) and cornea of mice eyes which could create a significant OCT signal and hence could be used as a contrast agent for in vivoOCT imaging. Results: A dose of 30nM of GNRs (13nm in diameter and 45nm in length) were injected to the AC of mice eyes and produced an OCT contrast nearly 50-fold higher than control mice injected with saline. Furthermore, the lowest detectable concentration of GNRs in living mice AC was experimentally estimated to be as low as 120pM. Conclusions: The high sensitivity and low toxicity of GNRs brings great promise for OCT to uniquely become a high-resolution molecular imaging modality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-366
Number of pages9
JournalClinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • Contrast agent
  • Gold nanorods
  • Molecular imaging
  • Ophthalmic imaging
  • Optical coherence tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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