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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(8), 1719; doi:10.3390/ijms18081719

Melanin-Based Contrast Agents for Biomedical Optoacoustic Imaging and Theranostic Applications

1
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Istituto di Biostrutture e Bioimmagini, Torino 10126, Italy
2
Dipartimento di Biotecnologie Molecolari e Scienze per la Salute, Università degli Studi di Torino, Torino 10126, Italy
3
TomoWave Laboratories, Houston, TX 77081, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 26 July 2017 / Accepted: 27 July 2017 / Published: 7 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Melanin Based Functional Materials)
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Abstract

Optoacoustic imaging emerged in early 1990s as a new biomedical imaging technology that generates images by illuminating tissues with short laser pulses and detecting resulting ultrasound waves. This technique takes advantage of the spectroscopic approach to molecular imaging, and delivers high-resolution images in the depth of tissue. Resolution of the optoacoustic imaging is scalable, so that biomedical systems from cellular organelles to large organs can be visualized and, more importantly, characterized based on their optical absorption coefficient, which is proportional to the concentration of absorbing chromophores. Optoacoustic imaging was shown to be useful in both preclinical research using small animal models and in clinical applications. Applications in the field of molecular imaging offer abundant opportunities for the development of highly specific and effective contrast agents for quantitative optoacoustic imaging. Recent efforts are being made in the direction of nontoxic biodegradable contrast agents (such as nanoparticles made of melanin) that are potentially applicable in clinical optoacoustic imaging. In order to increase the efficiency and specificity of contrast agents and probes, they need to be made smart and capable of controlled accumulation in the target cells. This review was written in recognition of the potential breakthroughs in medical optoacoustic imaging that can be enabled by efficient and nontoxic melanin-based optoacoustic contrast agents. View Full-Text
Keywords: melanin; optoacoustic imaging; photoacoustic imaging; nanoparticle; contrast agent melanin; optoacoustic imaging; photoacoustic imaging; nanoparticle; contrast agent
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Longo, D.L.; Stefania, R.; Aime, S.; Oraevsky, A. Melanin-Based Contrast Agents for Biomedical Optoacoustic Imaging and Theranostic Applications. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1719.

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