In vivo multi-modality photoacoustic and pulse echo tracking of prostate tumor growth using a window chamber

Daniel R. Bauer, Ragnar Olafsson, Leonardo G. Montilla, Russell S. Witte

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Scopus citations


Understanding the tumor microenvironment is critical to characterizing how cancers operate and predicting how they will eventually respond to treatment. The mouse window chamber model is an excellent tool for cancer research, because it enables high resolution tumor imaging and cross-validation using multiple modalities. We describe a novel multimodality imaging system that incorporates three dimensional (3D) photoacoustics with pulse echo ultrasound for imaging the tumor microenvironment and tracking tissue growth in mice. Three mice were implanted with a dorsal skin flap window chamber. PC-3 prostate tumor cells, expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP), were injected into the skin. The ensuing tumor invasion was mapped using photoacoustic and pulse echo imaging, as well as optical and fluorescent imaging for comparison and cross validation. The photoacoustic imaging and spectroscopy system, consisting of a tunable (680-1000nm) pulsed laser and 25 MHz ultrasound transducer, revealed near infrared absorbing regions, primarily blood vessels. Pulse echo images, obtained simultaneously, provided details of the tumor microstructure and growth with 100-μm3 resolution. The tumor size in all three mice increased between three and five fold during 3+ weeks of imaging. Results were consistent with the optical and fluorescent images. Photoacoustic imaging revealed detailed maps of the tumor vasculature, whereas photoacoustic spectroscopy identified regions of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood vessels. The 3D photoacoustic and pulse echo imaging system provided complementary information to track the tumor microenvironment, evaluate new cancer therapies, and develop molecular imaging agents in vivo. Finally, these safe and noninvasive techniques are potentially applicable for human cancer imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPhotons Plus Ultrasound
Subtitle of host publicationImaging and Sensing 2010
StatePublished - 2010
EventPhotons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2010 - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 24 2010Jan 26 2010

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherPhotons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2010
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • Angiogenesis
  • Cancer biology
  • GFP
  • Green fluorescent protein
  • Optoacoustic
  • Prostate cancer
  • Ultrasound
  • Window chamber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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