Towards real-time detection of tumor margins using photothermal imaging of immune-targeted gold nanoparticles

Kobi Jakobsohn, Menachem Motiei, Moshe Sinvani, Rachela Popovtzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Background: One of the critical problems in cancer management is local recurrence of disease. Between 20% and 30% of patients who undergo tumor resection surgery require reoperation due to incomplete excision. Currently, there are no validated methods for intraoperative tumor margin detection. In the present work, we demonstrate the potential use of gold nanoparticles (GNPs) as a novel contrast agent for photothermal molecular imaging of cancer. Methods: Phantoms containing different concentrations of GNPs were irradiated with continuous-wave laser and measured with a thermal imaging camera which detected the temperature field of the irradiated phantoms. Results: The results clearly demonstrate the ability to distinguish between cancerous cells specifically targeted with GNPs and normal cells. This technique, which allows highly sensitive discrimination between adjacent low GNP concentrations, will allow tumor margin detection while the temperature increases by only a few degrees Celsius (for GNPs in relevant biological concentrations). Conclusion: We expect this real-time intraoperative imaging technique to assist surgeons in determining clear tumor margins and to maximize the extent of tumor resection while sparing normal background tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4707-4713
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Nanomedicine
StatePublished - 2012


  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Molecular imaging
  • Photothermal imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Towards real-time detection of tumor margins using photothermal imaging of immune-targeted gold nanoparticles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this