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High-Resolution, High-Sensitivity Imaging and Quantification of Intratumoral Distributions of Gold Nanoparticles Using a Benchtop L-Shell XRF Imaging System

N Manohar

N Manohar1*, F Reynoso1,2 , P Diagaradjane1 , S Krishnan1 , S Cho1 , (1) UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, (2) Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO


SU-G-IeP3-7 (Sunday, July 31, 2016) 5:00 PM - 5:30 PM Room: ePoster Theater

Purpose: To demonstrate the ability to perform high-resolution imaging and quantification of sparse distributions of gold nanoparticles (GNPs) within ex vivo tumor samples using a highly-sensitive benchtop L-shell x-ray fluorescence (XRF) imaging system.

Methods: An optimized L-shell XRF imaging system was assembled using a tungsten-target x-ray source (operated at 62 kVp and 45 mA). The x-rays were filtered (copper: 0.08 mm & aluminum: 0.04 mm) and collimated (lead: 5 cm thickness, 3 cm aperture diameter) into a cone-beam in order to irradiate small samples or objects. A collimated (stainless steel: 4 cm thickness, 2 mm aperture diameter) silicon drift detector, capable of 2D translation, was placed at 90° with respect to the beam to acquire XRF/scatter spectra from regions of interest. Spectral processing involved extracting XRF signal from background, followed by attenuation correction using a Compton scatter-based normalization algorithm. Calibration phantoms with water/GNPs (0 and 0.00001-10 mg/cm³) were used to determine the detection limit of the system at a 10-second acquisition time. The system was then used to map the distribution of GNPs within a 12x11x2 mm³ slice excised from the center of a GNP-loaded ex vivo murine tumor sample; a total of 110 voxels (2.65x10⁻³ cm³) were imaged with 1.3-mm spatial resolution.

Results: The detection limit of the current cone-beam benchtop L-shell XRF system was 0.003 mg/cm³ (3 ppm). Intratumoral GNP concentrations ranging from 0.003 mg/cm³ (3 ppm) to a maximum of 0.055 mg/cm³ (55 ppm) and average of 0.0093 mg/cm³ (9.3 ppm) were imaged successfully within the ex vivo tumor slice.

Conclusion: The developed cone-beam benchtop L-shell XRF imaging system can immediately be used for imaging of ex vivo tumor samples containing low concentrations of GNPs. With minor fine-tuning/optimization, the system can be directly adapted for performing routine preclinical in vivo imaging tasks.

Supported by NIH/NCI grant R01CA155446

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: This investigation was supported by NIH/NCI grant R01CA155446.

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