Multiphoton imaging of upconverting lanthanide nanoparticles in three dimensional models of cancer

Christian F. Gainer, Marek Romanowski

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


While upconverting lanthanide nanoparticles have numerous advantages over other exogenous contrast agents used in scanned multiphoton imaging, their long luminescence lifetimes cause images collected with non-descanned detection to be greatly blurred. We demonstrate herein the use of Richardson-Lucy deconvolution to deblur luminescence images obtained via multiphoton scanning microscopy. Images were taken of three dimensional models of colon and ovarian cancer following incubation with NaYF4:Yb,Er nanoparticles functionalized with an antibody for EGFR and folic acid respectively. Following deconvolution, images had a lateral resolution on par with the optimal performance of the imaging system used, ∼1.2 μm, and an axial resolution of ∼5 μm. Due to the relatively high multiphoton excitation efficiency of these nanoparticles, it is possible to follow binding of individual particles in tissue. In addition, their extreme photostability allows for prolonged imaging without significant loss in luminescence signal. With these advantageous properties in mind, we also discuss the potential application of upconverting lanthanide nanoparticles for tracking of specific, cancer relevant receptors in tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationColloidal Nanocrystals for Biomedical Applications VIII
StatePublished - 2013
EventColloidal Nanocrystals for Biomedical Applications VIII - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 2 2013Feb 4 2013

Publication series

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


OtherColloidal Nanocrystals for Biomedical Applications VIII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • EGFR
  • colon cancer
  • erbium
  • folate
  • lanthanide
  • multiphoton
  • nanoparticle
  • ovarian cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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