Honors & Awards

  • NIH T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Stanford Cancer Imaging Training (SCIT) (2014)
  • Predoctoral Fellowship Award, University of Connecticut (2014)
  • USA PR, Extraordinary Petition (2013)
  • Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Award, University of Connecticut (2013)
  • Travel Award, SPIE Photonics West 2013 (2013)
  • Predoctoral Fellowship Award, University of Connecticut (2013)
  • 1st Place, Crow Innovation Prize, University of Connecticut (2012)
  • Predoctoral Fellowship Award, University of Connecticut (2011)

Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Connecticut (2014)

Stanford Advisors


Journal Articles

  • Interlaced photoacoustic and ultrasound imaging system with real-time coregistration for ovarian tissue characterization JOURNAL OF BIOMEDICAL OPTICS Alqasemi, U., Li, H., Yuan, G., Kumavor, P., Zanganeh, S., Zhu, Q. 2014; 19 (7)


    Coregistered ultrasound (US) and photoacoustic imaging are emerging techniques for mapping the echogenic anatomical structure of tissue and its corresponding optical absorption. We report a 128-channel imaging system with real-time coregistration of the two modalities, which provides up to 15 coregistered frames per second limited by the laser pulse repetition rate. In addition, the system integrates a compact transvaginal imaging probe with a custom-designed fiber optic assembly for in vivo detection and characterization of human ovarian tissue. We present the coregistered US and photoacoustic imaging system structure, the optimal design of the PC interfacing software, and the reconfigurable field programmable gate array operation and optimization. Phantom experiments of system lateral resolution and axial sensitivity evaluation, examples of the real-time scanning of a tumor-bearing mouse, and ex vivo human ovaries studies are demonstrated.

    View details for DOI 10.1117/1.JBO.19.7.076020

    View details for Web of Science ID 000340490400044

    View details for PubMedID 25069009

  • Indocyanine green enhanced co-registered diffuse optical tomography and photoacoustic tomography JOURNAL OF BIOMEDICAL OPTICS Xu, C., Kumavor, P. D., Alqasemi, U., Li, H., Xu, Y., Zanganeh, S., Zhu, Q. 2013; 18 (12)


    To overcome the intensive light scattering in biological tissue, diffuse optical tomography (DOT) in the near-infrared range for breast lesion detection is usually combined with other imaging modalities, such as ultrasound, x-ray, and magnetic resonance imaging, to provide guidance. However, these guiding imaging modalities may depend on different contrast mechanisms compared to the optical contrast in the DOT. As a result, they cannot provide reliable guidance for DOT because some lesions may not be detectable by a nonoptical modality but may have a high optical contrast. An imaging modality that relies on optical contrast to provide guidance is desirable for DOT. We present a system that combines a frequency-domain DOT and real-time photoacoustic tomography (PAT) systems to detect and characterize deeply seated targets embedded in a turbid medium. To further improve the contrast, the exogenous contrast agent, indocyanine green (ICG), is used. Our experimental results show that the combined system can detect a tumor-mimicking phantom, which is immersed in intralipid solution with the concentrations ranging from 100 to 10 μM and with the dimensions of 0.8 cm × 0.8 cm × 0.6 cm, up to 2.5 cm in depth. Mice experiments also confirmed that the combined system can detect tumors and monitor the ICG uptake and washout in the tumor region. This method can potentially improve the accuracy to detect small breast lesions as well as lesions that are sensitive to background tissue changes, such as the lesions located just above the chest wall.

    View details for DOI 10.1117/1.JBO.18.12.126006

    View details for Web of Science ID 000331706500027

    View details for PubMedID 24343437

  • Enhanced fluorescence diffuse optical tomography with indocyanine green-encapsulating liposomes targeted to receptors for vascular endothelial growth factor in tumor vasculature JOURNAL OF BIOMEDICAL OPTICS Zanganeh, S., Xu, Y., Hamby, C. V., Backer, M. V., Backer, J. M., Zhu, Q. 2013; 18 (12)


    To develop an indocyanine green (ICG) tracer with slower clearance kinetics, we explored ICG-encapsulating liposomes (Lip) in three different formulations: untargeted (Lip/ICG), targeted to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors (scVEGF-Lip/ICG) by the receptor-binding moiety single-chain VEGF (scVEGF), or decorated with inactivated scVEGF (inactive-Lip/ICG) that does not bind to VEGF receptors. Experiments were conducted with tumor-bearing mice that were placed in a scattering medium with tumors located at imaging depths of either 1.5 or 2.0 cm. Near-infrared fluorescence diffuse optical tomography that provides depth-resolved spatial distributions of fluorescence in tumor was used for the detection of postinjection fluorescent signals. All liposome-based tracers, as well as free ICG, were injected intravenously into mice in the amounts corresponding to 5 nmol of ICG/mouse, and the kinetics of increase and decrease of fluorescent signals in tumors were monitored. A signal from free ICG reached maximum at 15-min postinjection and then rapidly declined with t1/2 of ~20 min. The signals from untargeted Lip/ICG and inactive-Lip/ICG also reached maximum at 15-min postinjection, however, declined somewhat slower than free ICG with t1/2 of ~30 min. By contrast, a signal from targeted scVEGF-Lip/ICG grew slower than that of all other tracers, reaching maximum at 30-min postinjection and declined much slower than that of other tracers with t1/2 of ~90 min, providing a more extended observation window. Higher scVEGF-Lip/ICG tumor accumulation was further confirmed by the analysis of fluorescence on cryosections of tumors that were harvested from animals at 400 min after injection with different tracers.

    View details for DOI 10.1117/1.JBO.18.12.126014

    View details for Web of Science ID 000331706500035

    View details for PubMedID 24346856

  • The evaluation of NIR-absorbing porphyrin derivatives as contrast agents in photoacoustic imaging. Physical chemistry chemical physics Abuteen, A., Zanganeh, S., Akhigbe, J., Samankumara, L. P., Aguirre, A., Biswal, N., Braune, M., Vollertsen, A., Röder, B., Brückner, C., Zhu, Q. 2013; 15 (42): 18502-18509


    Six free base tetrapyrrolic chromophores, three quinoline-annulated porphyrins and three morpholinobacteriochlorins, that absorb light in the near-IR range and possess, in comparison to regular porphyrins, unusually low fluorescence emission and (1)O2 quantum yields were tested with respect to their efficacy as novel molecular photo-acoustic imaging contrast agents in a tissue phantom, providing an up to ∼2.5-fold contrast enhancement over that of the benchmark contrast agent ICG. The testing protocol compares the photoacoustic signal output strength upon absorption of approximately the same light energy. Some relationships between photophysical parameters of the dyes and the resulting photoacoustic signal strength could be derived.

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c3cp52193a

    View details for PubMedID 24071709

  • Targeting tumor hypoxia with 2-nitroimidazole-indocyanine green dye conjugates JOURNAL OF BIOMEDICAL OPTICS Xu, Y., Zanganeh, S., Mohammad, I., Aguirre, A., Wang, T., Yang, Y., Kuhn, L., Smith, M. B., Zhu, Q. 2013; 18 (6)


    Tumor hypoxia is a major indicator of treatment resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs, and fluorescence optical tomography has tremendous potential to provide clinically useful, functional information by identifying tumor hypoxia. The synthesis of a 2-nitroimidazole-indocyanine green conjugate using a piperazine linker (piperazine-2-nitroimidazole-ICG) capable of robust fluorescent imaging of tumor hypoxia is described. In vivo mouse tumor imaging studies were completed and demonstrate an improved imaging capability of the new dye relative to an earlier version of the dye that was synthesized with an ethanolamine linker (ethanolamine-2-nitroimidazole-ICG). Mouse tumors located at imaging depths of 1.5 and 2.0 cm in a turbid medium were imaged at various time points after intravenous injection of the dyes. On average, the reconstructed maximum fluorescence concentration of the tumors injected with piperazine-2-nitroimidazole-ICG was twofold higher than that injected with ethanolamine-2-nitroimidazole-ICG within 3 h postinjection period and 1.6 to 1.7 times higher beyond 3 h postinjection. The untargeted bis-carboxylic acid ICG completely washed out after 3 h postinjection. Thus, the optimal window to assess tumor hypoxia is beyond 3 h postinjection. These findings were supported with fluorescence images of histological sections of tumor samples and an immunohistochemistry technique for identifying tumor hypoxia.

    View details for DOI 10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.066009

    View details for Web of Science ID 000322341100051

    View details for PubMedID 23764695

  • The evaluation of NIR-absorbing porphyrin derivatives as contrast agents in photoacoustic imaging PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS Abuteen, A., Zanganeh, S., Akhigbe, J., Samankumara, L. P., Aguirre, A., Biswal, N., Braune, M., Vollertsen, A., Roeder, B., Brueckner, C., Zhu, Q. 2013; 15 (42): 18502-18509

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c3cp52193a

    View details for Web of Science ID 000325728400021


  • Biodistribution study of 2-nitroimidazole indocyanine green conjugate dye conjugates

    Hypoxia markers in previous studies are categorized by the nitroimidazole family. The nitroimidazole
    derivatives show a superior ability in selectively retaining in hypoxic tissues [1, 2]. Among all
    the imidazole compounds, 2-nitroimidazoles have higher electron affinities and are the most
    commonly used hypoxia markers when labeled with positron emission tomography (PET) radionuclides
    [3,4]. Problems associated with the PET modality, including a limited resolution, high background
    counts, the use of radioactive tracers and high cost for routine clinical use, raise a need ...

    Time Period

    4/26/2014 - Present

    Presented To

    Biomedical Optics



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