CANCELED - Seminar will be rescheduled to a later date in March. We apologize for such short notice and inconvenience.
Molecular imaging offers a unique real time view of biochemical processes taking place inside a living subject, typically at a compromise of either spatial resolution or tissue depth of penetration. A holy grail would be to molecularly image live tissues at a cellular resolution over a large 3D field of view showing molecular behavior of billions of cells in real time. In this presentation, we will share our approach for accomplishing that. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) enables real-time structural imaging of living tissues with cellular resolution over large 3D fields of view. However, functional and molecular capabilities for OCT remain elusive due to the difficulties of distinguishing exogenous contrast agents from intrinsic tissue scattering and absorption. We developed a variety of gold nanoparticles as contrast agents, and new hardware and algorithmic approaches to enable highly sensitive detection of these gold particles in live animals. We will show the versatility of this imaging method in a variety of applications. For example, we used this method to study the spatial-temporal behavior of lymphatic valves and their influence on lymphatic drainage. In another study, we labeled tumor-associated macrophages using the gold nanoparticles and tracked their movement across a brain tumor animal model. Finally, we will also describe a recent method we developed to enhance the quality of OCT images by eliminating speckle noise. We will show its utility in delineating the margins of brain tumors versus the healthy brain in both animal models and in human brain cancer patients.
Dr. Adam de la Zerda is an Assistant Professor in the departments of Structural Biology and (by courtesy) Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. He is working on the development of new biological imaging technologies that can visualize molecules cues from millions of cells in a live animal. He has received numerous awards including Forbes Magazine 30-under-30 in Science and Healthcare (twice, for years 2013 and 2014), the Chan-Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator, the Pew-Stewart Scholar of Cancer Research Award, the US Air Force Young Investigator Award, the Dale F. Frey Award, the NIH Director's Early Independence Award, the Damon Runyon Fellowship, and the Young Investigator Award at the World Molecular Imaging Congress. He published over 20 papers in leading journals including Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Medicine, Nano Letters, and PNAS, some of which received significant press coverage from Forbes, US News and The Washington Post. He is the founder of a medical diagnostics start-up currently in stealth-mode called Click Diagnostics.