skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Zharov, Vladimir P."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    Aggregation of proteins is a prominent hallmark of virtually all neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases. Little progress has been made in their treatment to slow or prevent the formation of aggregates by post-translational modification and regulation of cellular responses to misfolded proteins. Here, we introduce a label-free, laser-based photothermal treatment of polyglutamine (polyQ) aggregates in aC. elegansnematode model of huntingtin-like polyQ aggregation. As a proof of principle, we demonstrated that nanosecond laser pulse-induced local photothermal heating can directly disrupt the aggregates so as to delay their accumulation, maintain motility, and extend the lifespan of treated nematodes. These beneficial effects were validated by confocal photothermal, fluorescence, and video imaging. The results obtained demonstrate that our theranostics platform, integrating photothermal therapy without drugs or other chemicals, combined with advanced imaging to monitor photothermal ablation of aggregates, initiates systemic recovery and thus validates the concept of aggregate-disruption treatments for neurodegenerative diseases in humans.

    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    Pancreatic cancer is one of the most complex types of cancers to detect, diagnose, and treat. However, the field of nanomedicine has strong potential to address such challenges. When evaluating the diffusion and penetration of theranostic nanoparticles, the extracellular matrix (ECM) is of crucial importance because it acts as a barrier to the tumor microenvironment. In the present study, the penetration of functionalized, fluorescent gold nanorods into large (>500 μm) multicellular 3D tissue spheroids was studied using a multimodal imaging approach. The spheroids were generated by co-culturing pancreatic cancer cells and pancreatic stellate cells in multiple ratios to mimic variable tumor-stromal compositions and to investigate nanoparticle penetration. Fluorescence live imaging, photothermal, and photoacoustic analysis were utilized to examine nanoparticle behavior in the spheroids. Uniquely, the nanorods are intrinsically photoacoustic and photothermal, enabling multi-imaging detection even when fluorescence tracking is not possible or ideal.

    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Photoswitchable fluorescent proteins (PFPs) that can change fluorescence color upon excitation have revolutionized many applications of light such as tracking protein movement, super-resolution imaging, identification of circulating cells, and optical data storage. Nevertheless, the relatively weak fluorescence of PFPs limits their applications in biomedical imaging due to strong tissue autofluorecence background. Conversely, plasmonic nanolasers, also called spasers, have demonstrated potential to generate super-bright stimulated emissions even inside single cells. Nevertheless, the development of photoswitchable spasers that can shift their stimulated emission color in response to light is challenging. Here, we introduce the novel concept of spasers using a PFP layer as the active medium surrounding a plasmonic core. The proof of principle was demonstrated by synthesizing a multilayer nanostructure on the surface of a spherical gold core, with a non-absorbing thin polymer shell and the PFP Dendra2 dispersed in the matrix of a biodegradable polymer. We have demonstrated photoswitching of spontaneous and stimulated emission in these spasers below and above the spasing threshold, respectively, at different spectral ranges. The plasmonic core of the spasers serves also as a photothermal (and potentially photoacoustic) contrast agent, allowing for photothermal imaging of the spasers. These results suggest that multimodal photoswitchable spasers could extend the traditional applications of spasers and PFPs in laser spectroscopy, multicolor cytometry, and theranostics with the potential to track, identify, and kill abnormal cells in circulation.

    more » « less
  4. In vivophotoacoustic (PA) flow cytometry (PAFC) has great clinical potential for early, noninvasive diagnosis of cancer, infections (e.g., malaria and bacteremia), sickle anemia, and cardiovascular disorders, including stroke prevention through detection of circulating white clots with negative PA contrast. For clinical applications, this diagnostic platform still requires optimization and calibration. We have already demonstrated that this need can be partially addressed byin vivoexamination of large mouse blood vessels, which are similar to human vessels used. Here, we present an alternative method for PAFC optimization that utilizes novel, clinically relevant phantoms resembling pigmented skin, tissue, vessels, and flowing blood. This phantom consists of a scattering-absorbing medium with a melanin layer and plastic tube with flowing beads to model light-absorbing red blood cells (RBCs) and circulating tumor cells (CTCs), as well as transparent beads to model white blood cells and clots. Using a laser diode, we demonstrated the extraordinary ability of PAFC to dynamically detect fast-moving mimic CTCs with positive PA contrast and white clots with negative PA contrast in an RBC background. Time-resolved detection of the delayed PA signals from blood vessels demonstrated complete suppression of the PA background from the modeled pigmented skin. This novel, medically relevant, dynamic blood flow phantom can be used to calibrate and maintain PAFC parameters for routine clinical applications.

    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Collection of a blood sample defined by the term “blood liquid biopsy” is commonly used to detect diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic decision‐making markers of metastatic tumors including circulating tumor cells (CTCs). Many tumors also release CTCs and other markers into lymph fluid, but the utility of lymphatic markers largely remains unexplored. Here, we introduce lymph liquid biopsy through collection of peripheral (afferent) and central (thoracic duct [TD]) lymph samples and demonstrates its feasibility for detection of stem‐like CTCs potentially responsible for metastasis development and tumor relapse. Stemness of lymphatic CTCs (L‐CTCs) was determined by spheroid‐forming assay in vitro. Simultaneously, we tested blood CTCs by conventional blood liquid biopsy, and monitored the primary tumor size, early metastasis in a sentinel lymph node (SLN) and distant metastasis in lungs. Using a mouse model at early melanoma stage with no distant metastasis, we identified stem‐like L‐CTCs in lymph samples from afferent lymphatic vessels. Since these vessels transport cells from the primary tumor to SLN, our finding emphasizes the significance of the lymphatic pathway in development of SLN metastasis. Surprisingly, in pre‐metastatic disease, stem‐like L‐CTCs were detected in lymph samples from the TD, which directly empties lymph into blood circulation. This suggests a new contribution of the lymphatic system to initiation of distant metastasis. Integration of lymph and blood liquid biopsies demonstrated that all mice with early melanoma had stem‐like CTCs in at least one of three samples (afferent lymph, TD lymph, and blood). At the stage of distant metastasis, spheroid‐forming L‐CTCs were detected in TD lymph, but not in afferent lymph. Altogether, our results demonstrated that lymph liquid biopsy and testing L‐CTCs holds promise for diagnosis and prognosis of early metastasis. © 2020 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry

    more » « less
  6. Abstract

    Bloodstream infections, especially those that are antibiotic resistant, pose a significant challenge to health care leading to increased hospitalization time and patient mortality. There are different facets to this problem that make these diseases difficult to treat, such as the difficulty to detect bacteria in the blood and the poorly understood mechanism of bacterial invasion into and out of the circulatory system. However, little progress has been made in developing techniques to study bacteria dynamics in the bloodstream. Here, we present a new approach using anin vivoflow cytometry platform for real‐time, noninvasive, label‐free, and quantitative monitoring of the lifespan of green fluorescent protein‐expressingStaphylococcus aureusandPseudomonas aeruginosain a murine model. We report a relatively fast average rate of clearance forS. aureus(k= 0.37 ± 0.09 min−1, half‐life ~1.9 min) and a slower rate forP. aeruginosa(k= 0.07 ± 0.02 min−1, half‐life ~9.6 min). We also observed what appears to be two stages of clearance forS. aureus, whileP. aeruginosaappeared only to have a single stage of clearance. Our results demonstrate that an advanced research tool can be used for studying the dynamics of bacteria cells directly in the bloodstream, providing insight into the progression of infectious diseases in circulation. © 2019 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry

    more » « less
  7. Abstract

    Most cancer patients die from metastatic disease as a result of a circulating tumor cell (CTC) spreading from a primary tumor through the blood circulation to distant organs. Many studies have demonstrated the tremendous potential of using CTC counts as prognostic markers of metastatic development and therapeutic efficacy. However, it is only the viable CTCs capable of surviving in the blood circulation that can create distant metastasis. To date, little progress has been made in understanding what proportion of CTCs is viable and what proportion is in an apoptotic state. Here, we introduce a novel approach toward in situ characterization of CTC apoptosis status using a multicolor in vivo flow cytometry platform with fluorescent detection for the real‐time identification and enumeration of such cells directly in blood flow. The proof of concept was demonstrated with two‐color fluorescence flow cytometry (FFC) using breast cancer cells MDA‐MB‐231 expressing green fluorescein protein (GFP), staurosporine as an activator of apoptosis, Annexin‐V apoptotic kit with orange dye color, and a mouse model. The future application of this new platform for real‐time monitoring of antitumor drug efficiency is discussed. © 2019 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry

    more » « less