We demonstrate a highly sensitive THz molecular imaging (TMI) technique involving differential modulation of surface plasmons induced on nanoparticles and obtain target specific in vivo images of cancers. This technique can detect quantities of gold nanoparticles as small as 15 μM in vivo. A comparison of TMI images with near infrared absorption images shows the superior sensitivity of TMI. Furthermore, the quantification property of TMI is excellent, being linearly proportional to the concentration of nanoparticles. The target specificity issue is also addressed at the ex vivo and cell levels. The high thermal sensitivity of TMI can help extend photonic-based photothermal molecular imaging researches from the in vitro level to the in vivo level. The TMI technique can be used for monitoring drug delivery processes and for early cancer diagnosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics