Pancreatic cancer cell detection by targeted lipid microbubbles and multiphoton imaging

Benjamin Cromey, Ashley McDaniel, Terry Matsunaga, Josef Vagner, Khanh Quoc Kieu, Bhaskar Banerjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Surgical resection of pancreatic cancer represents the only chance of cure and long-term survival in this common disease. Unfortunately, determination of a cancer-free margin at surgery is based on one or two tiny frozen section biopsies, which is far from ideal. Not surprisingly, cancer is usually left behind and is responsible for metastatic disease. We demonstrate a method of receptor-targeted imaging using peptide ligands, lipid microbubbles, and multiphoton microscopy that could lead to a fast and accurate way of examining the entire cut surface during surgery. Using a plectin-targeted microbubble, we performed a blinded in-vitro study to demonstrate avid binding of targeted microbubbles to pancreatic cancer cells but not noncancerous cell lines. Further work should lead to a much-needed point-of-care diagnostic test for determining clean margins in oncologic surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number046501
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


  • cancer research
  • in-vitro testing
  • multiphoton
  • nonlinear optics
  • pancreatic cancer
  • targeted microbubbles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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