Mikhail Berezin, PhD

Assistant Professor of Radiology

Investigation of the optical contrast agents and spectrscopy for medical imaging and clinical treatment Read More

Email: berezinm@wustl.edu
Lab Phone: (314) 747-0701
Website: Berezin Lab
Lab Location: McKinley Research Building
Keywords: biophysics, cancer, electrochemistry, fluorescence, nanotechnology, imaging and spectroscopy instrumentation

Investigation of the optical contrast agents and spectrscopy for medical imaging and clinical treatment

My research interest lies in the investigation and application of molecular excited states and their reactions for medical imaging and clinical treatment. Excited states are the cornerstone of a variety of chemical, physical, and biological phenomena. The ability to probe, investigate, and control excited states is one of the largest achievements of modern science. The lab focuses on the development of novel optically active probes ranging from small molecules to nanoparticles, and the development of optical instrumentation for spectroscopy and imaging and their applications in medicine. The central obstacle in optical imaging of biological tissue is the transport of photons through tissue. Photon penetration into living tissue is highly dependent on the absorption and scattering properties of tissue components and significantly increases above 650 nm. Hence, the near-infrared (NIR) region of the spectrum (650-900 nm) has been widely explored, and a number of contrast probes active in this region have been developed. Currently we are developing optically active in NIR spectral range activatable fluorescence probes and nanoparticles for diagnostics and treatment. Although NIR range is well suitable for tissue penetration, this region still suffers from large scattering and residual absorbance from endogenous chromophores. As a result, the depth penetration of NIR based optical imaging is limited to several millimeters severely weakening its applicability for deeper tissue imaging. To minimize the problem with scattering and absorption while increasing the penetration depth we propose to use utilized the extended NIR (exNIR) range from 1000-1400 nm. This region is mostly free from water and other endogenous chromophores, leaving this optical window absorption transparent with virtually no autofluorescence. We are currently synthesizing an array of exNIR fluorescent dyes with high quantum yield for in vivo imaging.

Updated July 2016

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