Ultrasound Molecular Imaging: Beyond the Vasculature with Nanoparticle Contrast Agents
Jesse Jokerst, Ph.D.
Molecular imaging is a powerful tool to study intact living systems and processes in vivo. Ultrasound in particular is well suited for studying cells and proteins because of its deep penetration through tissue and high spatial and temporal resolution. Unfortunately, the micrometer size of existing contrast agents limits ultrasound to vascular targets. In this lecture, I will present two case studies that illustrate the power of ultrasound imaging with nanometer sized contrast agents. In the first, spherical silica nanoparticles were tuned for real-time implantation guidance of stem cells in cardiac regenerative medicine. In the second, gold nanorods were deployed for ovarian cancer imaging. In both examples, I will detail the synthesis and characterization of the materials, their role in medicine, and lingering questions to be addressed in future studies.
Dr. Jesse Jokerst was born in Missouri and earned his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry under the supervision of John T. McDevitt (currently Rice University) at The University of Texas at Austin in 2009. He is currently an Instructor in the lab of Sanjiv Sam Gambhir in the Department of Radiology at Stanford University working at the interface of nano-materials and imaging. Current research efforts use ultrasound in cardiac regenerative medicine and ovarian cancer imaging. The Burroughs Wellcome Fund and the American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship have supported his past research efforts; he received the K99 Pathway to Independence Award from NIH in late 2013.