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Molecular Imaging for Assessment of Tumor Angiogenesis

Fanglue Lin


As an imaging method based on waves, the resolution of ultrasound imaging is limited by the wavelength. Traditional clinical ultrasound imaging has a resolution of several hundred microns. Although the resolution improves with higher frequency, or shorter wavelength, the penetration depth decreases because the frequency-related attenuation effect becomes greater. Recently proposed ultrasound super resolution imaging has the extraordinary ability to overcome the resolution limit, by super-localizing detected microbubble centers from isolated microbubble events. Since this imaging technique can reach to a resolution as high as tens of microns, without the sacrifice of penetration depth, we are now applying this novel technique to image microvascular changes associated with tumor angiogenesis, which is a hallmark of solid tumor cancers. Changes of microvascular pattern or density, related with microvascular network in the scale of tens of microns, are expected to be seen with this new imaging technique, which have never been seen before by ultrasound imaging.