Biophotonics technologies for novel diagnostic and therapeutic applications
(01.07.2011- 30.06.2014)

The focus of the proposed project is to study the effect of biotissue optical clearing, improving capability of the techniques and devices to be used and developed in frames of the project. We will design novel agents and protocols for optical clearing, which are strongly demanded nowadays for enhancing efficiency of non-invasive diagnostic and therapeutic treatment of biotissues. An important issue to be addressed in the research, biocompatibility of new optical clearing agents (OCAs), will be also extensively studied. This project strength is creation and application of advanced optical technologies to the biomedical area. Optical clearing studies will be performed both on phantoms and on tissue samples. Two main structures will be used for the models: skin and brain, including skull. We will focus on design and fabrication of phantoms having similar optical properties as real tissues. Monte Carlo simulations will be carried out to model light propagation in different multilayered tissues such as skin and brain with skull. Appropriate phantoms will be designed and manufactured based on the simulation results and the data found in literature. These phantoms will be characterized by measuring optical properties and by comparison with parameters obtained from tissues in vitro. Extensive testing of different optical clearing agents (OCAs) will be performed on designed and fabricated tissue-mimicking phantoms with real capillary structure. Well-known and newly designed OCAs will be tested with manufactured phantoms.

An optical imaging setup capable for imaging at depths of 1 cm or larger, to be designed during the project, will use bioconjugated upconversion fluorescent nanoparticles as a contrasting agent. Outstanding performance will be based on the OCA application and on the particles ability to absorb and emit light in the spectral region, least affected by tissue scattering and absorbtion. The proof of principle to use nanoparticles and OCAs to enhance imaging contrast will be demonstrated.

Along with this, a near infrared spectroscopy system will be tested and improved. This system will be used to verify our mathematical model and phantom for brain and skull. A further aim is to use the system simultaneously with magnetic resonance imaging system, which sets certain limitations on the design.

Last updated: 9.9.2016