Characterizing optical properties of nano contrast agents by using cross-referencing OCT imaging

Jiefeng Xi, Yongping Chen, Xingde Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


We report a cross-referencing method to quickly and accurately characterize the optical properties of nanoparticles including the extinction, scattering, absorption and backscattering cross sections by using an OCT system alone. Among other applications, such a method is particularly useful for developing nanoparticle-based OCT imaging contrast agents. The method involves comparing two depth-dependent OCT intensity signals collected from two samples (with one having and the other not having the nanoparticles), to extract the extinction and backscattering coefficient, from which the absorption coefficient can be further deduced (with the help of the established scattering theories for predicting the ratio of the backscattering to total scattering cross section). The method has been experimentally validated using test nanoparticles and was then applied to characterizing gold nanocages. With the aid of this method, we were able to successfully synthesize scattering dominant gold nanocages for the first time and demonstrated the highest contrast enhancement ever achieved by the gold nanocages (and by any nanoparticles of a similar size and concentration) in an in vivo mouse tumor model. This method also enables quantitative analysis of contrast enhancement and provides a general guideline on choosing the optimal concentration and optical properties for the nanoparticle-based OCT contrast agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)842-851
Number of pages10
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterizing optical properties of nano contrast agents by using cross-referencing OCT imaging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this