Simultaneous two-color spectral fluorescence lymphangiography with near infrared quantum dots to map two lymphatic flows from the breast and the upper extremity
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Due to their small size and poor access, the lymphatic function has been difficult to study in vivo. Especially difficult is the mapping of lymphatic drainage from two basins into the same node. Quantum dots can be used to perform multicolor images with high fluorescent intensity and are of a nano-size size suitable for lymphatic imaging via direct interstitial injection. Here we show simultaneous two-color in vivo wavelength-resolved spectral fluorescence lymphangiography using two near infrared quantum dots with different emission spectra, which allow non-invasive and simultaneous visualization of two separate lymphatic flows draining the breast and the upper extremity and variations in the drainage patterns and the water sheds within the axillary node. Two-color spectral fluorescence lymphangiography can provide insight into mechanisms of drainage from different lymphatic basins that may lead to sentinel lymph nodes detection of the breast cancer as well as prevention of complications such as lymphedema of the arm.
KeywordsLymphatic drainage Imaging Breast cancer Lymph node Lymphedema Nanotechnology Quantum dots Spectral fluorescence imaging Near infrared
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This research was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the NIH, National Cancer Institute, Center for Cancer Research.
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