About the Seminar:
Imaging techniques are a vital part of clinical diagnostics and biomedical research. Optical molecular imaging makes use of relatively harmless, low-energy light, and technically straightforward instrumentation. Bioluminescence imaging systems, particularly use of firefly luciferin, are attractive because they have inherently high signal contrast due to the lack of background emission. However, current bioluminescence imaging involves short-lived molecular species that are not stored and they typically emit visible light which does not penetrate far through heterogeneous biological media. Here, we describe a new paradigm for optical molecular imaging using singlet oxygen encapsulated inside a nanoparticle with near-infrared fluorescent dye molecules. Chemiluminescence can be stored indefinitely at temperatures below -20 oC, but upon warming to body temperature it undergoes a chemical reaction and emits near-infrared light that can pass through a living mouse. The whole-body image of chemiluminescence in our recent works provides a capability to image deep-tissue sites (> 4 cm) and consequently our optical imaging protocols can be utilized for the early diagnosis and identification of tumor sites such as head and neck cancer and pancreatic cancer.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Jung-Jae Lee is the principal investigator of the Laboratory of Nanomedicine at Colorado University Denver (CU Denver), Anschutz Medical Campus (AMC). He received his PhD degree in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry from the University of Notre Dame in 2009. After his postdoctoral trainings at Notre Dame Integrated Imaging Facility (NDIIF), MIT, and Harvard Medical School, he took an Assistant Professor position in the Department of Chemistry at CU Denver in 2015. His research focuses on nanomedicine for clinical use in a wide range of topics in drug delivery, biomaterials, and molecular imaging. He is an affiliated faculty member of Bioengineering and a core member of Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI) and University of Colorado Cancer Center (UCCC) at AMC.