Continuous sensing of tumor-targeted molecular probes with a vertical cavity surface emitting laser-based biosensor

Natesh Parashurama, Thomas D. O'Sullivan, Adam De La Zerda, Pascale El Kalassi, Seongjae Cho, Hongguang Liu, Robert Teed, Hart Levy, Jarrett Rosenberg, Zhen Cheng, Ofer Levi, James S. Harris, Sanjiv S. Gambhir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Molecular optical imaging is a widespread technique for interrogating molecular events in living subjects. However, current approaches preclude long-term, continuous measurements in awake, mobile subjects, a strategy crucial in several medical conditions. Consequently, we designed a novel, lightweight miniature biosensor for in vivo continuous optical sensing. The biosensor contains an enclosed vertical-cavity surface-emitting semiconductor laser and an adjacent pair of near-infrared optically filtered detectors. We employed two sensors (dual sensing) to simultaneously interrogate normal and diseased tumor sites. Having established the sensors are precise with phantom and in vivo studies, we performed dual, continuous sensing in tumor (human glioblastoma cells) bearing mice using the targeted molecular probe cRGD-Cy5.5, which targets αVβ3 cell surface integrins in both tumor neovasculature and tumor. The sensors capture the dynamic time-activity curve of the targeted molecular probe. The average tumor to background ratio after signal calibration for cRGD-Cy5.5 injection is approximately 2.43 ± 0.95 at 1 h and 3.64 ± 1.38 at 2 h (N = 5 mice), consistent with data obtained with a cooled charge coupled device camera. We conclude that our novel, portable, precise biosensor can be used to evaluate both kinetics and steady state levels of molecular probes in various disease applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117004
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • angiogenesis
  • continuous sensing
  • molecular imaging
  • molecular probe kinetics
  • molecular probes
  • noninvasive sensing
  • semiconductor sensors
  • vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser


Dive into the research topics of 'Continuous sensing of tumor-targeted molecular probes with a vertical cavity surface emitting laser-based biosensor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this