Indocyanine green lactosome (ICG-lactosome) is an attractive new-generation agent for photodynamic therapy (PDT) that is characterized by a near-infrared excitation wavelength and high stability in the bloodstream. Fluorescence imaging has been used to examine its pharmacokinetics in vivo, but no depth-resolved information can be obtained with this method. In this study, we applied photoacoustic (PA) imaging to visualize the depth distribution of ICG-lactosome in a mouse subcutaneous tumor model. With this method, the depth distribution of blood vessels can also be visualized, enabling detection of vascular shutdown effects due to PDT. We performed PA imaging of both the distributions of ICG-lactosome and blood vessels in a tumor before and after PDT, and we found that PA signals originating from ICG-lactosome were greatly increased at 18 h after drug injection but rapidly decreased after PDT. These results indicate efficient accumulation of ICG-lactosome and rapid photobleaching due to the PDT reaction in the tumor, respectively. After PDT, PA amplitudes of hemoglobin were significantly decreased, being attributable to vascular shutdown effects. These results show the usefulness of PA imaging for monitoring not only photosensitizer accumulation and bleaching but also vascular responses in PDT with ICG-lactosome. This method can be applied to the diagnosis of many types of PDT processes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)