Special Issue "Nanostructures for Bioimaging"

A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X). This special issue belongs to the section "B:Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 April 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Jessica Rosenholm
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Pharmaceutical Sciences Laboratory, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland
Tel. + 358-2-215-3255
Interests: nanomedicine; drug delivery; biomaterials engineering; bioimaging probes; biomedical nanotechnology; pharmaceutical technology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nanoscopic imaging probes have been established as versatile tools in biomedical imaging, mainly owing to their ability to overcome limitations associated with conventional, molecular imaging agents. The nanostructures can essentially be either 1) inherently detectable by optical or other bioimaging techniques, or 2) be utilized as carriers for molecular imaging agents. Especially inorganic nanostructures finds various applications as bioimaging probes due to their inherent detectability by different imaging modalities, e.g., quantum dots, QDs, for optical imaging and superparamagnetic iron oxides, SPIONs, for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These can, for instance, be used as constructs in the design of multimodal or theranostic nanoparticulate systems, whereby they can be endowed with imaging properties of other modalities and/or drug delivery ability. The creation of hybrid nanomaterials by making further use of the responsiveness, biocompatibility and flexibility associated with organic functions allows for a multitude of modular designs to be constructed. This Special Issue is devoted to showcasing recent and exciting developments in the field of nanostructured bioimaging probes. Contributions in the form of commentaries, perspectives, research articles, short communications and timely reviews that focus on either 1) novel designs or 2) new applications of “Nanostructures for Bioimaging” are highly welcomed.

Prof. Dr. Jessica Rosenholm
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Bioimaging
  • Nanostructures
  • Imaging probes
  • Nanoscopic imaging agents
  • Contrast agents
  • Mutimodal imaging
  • Advanced imaging techniques
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Core-shell nanoparticles
  • Nanocomposites
  • Hybrid nanoparticles
  • Theranostics

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Characterization of a Fiber Bundle-Based Real-Time Ultrasound/Photoacoustic Imaging System and Its In Vivo Functional Imaging Applications
Micromachines 2019, 10(12), 820; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10120820 - 27 Nov 2019
Abstract
Photoacoustic (PA) imaging is an attractive technology for imaging biological tissues because it can capture both functional and structural information with satisfactory spatial resolution. Current commercially available PA imaging systems are limited by their bulky size or inflexible user interface. We present a [...] Read more.
Photoacoustic (PA) imaging is an attractive technology for imaging biological tissues because it can capture both functional and structural information with satisfactory spatial resolution. Current commercially available PA imaging systems are limited by their bulky size or inflexible user interface. We present a new handheld real-time ultrasound/photoacoustic imaging system (HARP) consisting of a detachable, high-numerical-aperture (NA) fiber bundle-based illumination system integrated with an array-based ultrasound (US) transducer and a data acquisition platform. In this system, different PA probes can be used for different imaging applications by switching the transducers and the corresponding jackets to combine the fiber pads and transducer into a single probe. The intuitive user interface is a completely programmable MATLAB-based platform. In vitro phantom experiments were conducted to test the imaging performance of the developed PA system. Furthermore, we demonstrated (1) in vivo brain vasculature imaging, (2) in vivo imaging of real-time stimulus-evoked cortical hemodynamic changes during forepaw electrical stimulation, and (3) in vivo imaging of real-time cerebral pharmacokinetics in rats using the developed PA system. The overall purpose of this design concept for a customizable US/PA imaging system is to help overcome the diverse challenges faced by medical researchers performing both preclinical and clinical PA studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructures for Bioimaging)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Quantification and Imaging of Antigens on Cell Surface with Lipid-Encapsulated Fluorescent Nanodiamonds
Micromachines 2019, 10(5), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10050304 - 06 May 2019
Abstract
Quantifying the density and locating the position of antigens on cell surface has been a challenge in molecular biology research. The challenge lies in the need for a chemically and photophysically stable fluorophore to achieve the required sensitivity and accuracy. Here, we present [...] Read more.
Quantifying the density and locating the position of antigens on cell surface has been a challenge in molecular biology research. The challenge lies in the need for a chemically and photophysically stable fluorophore to achieve the required sensitivity and accuracy. Here, we present a method suitable for the purpose by using lipid-encapsulated fluorescent nanodiamonds (FNDs) of 35 nm in diameter as biolabels. The encapsulation of FNDs in biotinylated phospholipids not only facilitates good dispersion of the particles in biological buffers, but also endows them with high specific targeting ability. We demonstrated a viable application of the technique for biotin-mediated immunostaining of antigens on fixed human cells, identifying their positions by two-color confocal fluorescence imaging, and determining their densities by magnetically modulated fluorescence detection. A binding capacity of 6 ± 1 × 104 antigens/cell was measured specifically for CD44 on HeLa cell surface. The result agreed well with the assay of R-phycoerythrin-conjugated antibodies by flow cytometry, supporting the reliability of this new nanoparticle-based method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructures for Bioimaging)
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Open AccessArticle
Core-Shell Structures of Upconversion Nanocrystals Coated with Silica for Near Infrared Light Enabled Optical Imaging of Cancer Cells
Micromachines 2018, 9(8), 400; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9080400 - 14 Aug 2018
Abstract
Optical imaging of cancer cells using near infrared (NIR) light is currently an active area of research, as this spectral region directly corresponds to the therapeutic window of biological tissues. Upconversion nanocrystals are photostable alternatives to conventional fluorophores. In our work, we have [...] Read more.
Optical imaging of cancer cells using near infrared (NIR) light is currently an active area of research, as this spectral region directly corresponds to the therapeutic window of biological tissues. Upconversion nanocrystals are photostable alternatives to conventional fluorophores. In our work, we have prepared upconversion nanocrystals of NaYF4:Yb/Er and encapsulated them in silica to form core-shell structures. The as-prepared core-shell nanostructures have been characterized for their structure, morphology, and optical properties using X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy coupled with elemental mapping, and upconversion luminescence spectroscopy, respectively. The cytotoxicity examined using cell viability assay indicated a low level of toxicity of these core-shell nanostructures. Finally, these core-shell nanostructures have been utilized as photostable probes for NIR light enabled optical imaging of human breast cancer cells. This work paves the way for the development of advanced photostable, biocompatible, low-toxic core-shell nanostructures for potential optical imaging of biological cells and tissues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructures for Bioimaging)
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Open AccessArticle
The Design and Positioning Method of a Flexible Zoom Artificial Compound Eye
Micromachines 2018, 9(7), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9070319 - 25 Jun 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
The focal lengths of the sub-eyes in a single-layer uniform curved compound eye are all the same, resulting in poor imaging quality for the compound eye. A non-uniform curved compound eye can effectively solve the problem of poor edge-imaging quality, however, it suffers [...] Read more.
The focal lengths of the sub-eyes in a single-layer uniform curved compound eye are all the same, resulting in poor imaging quality for the compound eye. A non-uniform curved compound eye can effectively solve the problem of poor edge-imaging quality, however, it suffers from a large spherical aberration, and is unable to achieve zoom imaging. To solve these problems, a new type of aspherical artificial compound eye structure with variable focal length is proposed in this paper. The structure divides the surface compound eye into three fan-shaped areas with different focal lengths of the microlens in different areas, which allow the artificial compound eye to zoom in a certain range. The focal length and size of the microlens is determined by the area and the location of the microlens. The aspherical optimization of the microlens is calculated, and spherical aberration in each area is reduced to one percent of the initial value. Through simulation analysis, the designed artificial compound eye structure realizes focal length adjustment and effectively reduces the problem of the poor imaging quality of the curved compound eye edge. As a result, an aspherical artificial compound eye sample—where the number of sub-eyes is n = 61, and the diameter of the base is Φ = 8.66 mm—was prepared by using a molding method. Additionally, the mutual relationship between the eyes of the child was calibrated, and hence, a mathematical model for the simultaneous identification of multiple sub-eyes was established. This study set up an experimental artificial compound eye positioning system, and through a number of microlens capture target point settlement coordinates, achieved an error value of less than 10%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructures for Bioimaging)
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