Photoacoustic imaging for temperature monitoring and photothermal therapy guidance
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Cancer is among the leading causes of death in the United States and the world. Using combined ultrasound (US) and photoacoustic (PA) imaging can provide both anatomical and molecular information of cancerous cells for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. This thesis is focused on combining these two modalities, in conjunction with nanoparticles, to treat cancerous tumors and monitor the progress of the therapy. Specifically, the work evaluates the use of photoacoustic imaging as a temperature monitoring tool during photothermal therapy. In this study, the mathematical relationship between photoacoustic signal and temperature is presented and validated with a glass tube phantom using gold nanoparticles. Then in vitro and ex vivo studies were performed to validate the effect of photothermal therapy and the monitoring capability of photoacoustic imaging. The results show that photoacoustic imaging can be used to monitor temperature during photothermal therapy. Future directions include in vivo studies of image guided photothermal therapy and survival studies.