Understanding targeting and treatment effects is a key bottleneck in the development of new drugs and PDT treatment protocols. To address this, we are actively developing new imaging technologies allowing enhanced morphological and molecular information to be acquired in a high throughput manner. These projects include:

(i)   In vivo longitudinal quantification of disease progression and drug targeting
        via confocal microendoscopy
(ii)  Drug uptake information of individual organs and tissues using in vivo
        fluorescence imaging of whole small animals
(iii) On-line, non-invasive fluorescent monitoring of cytotoxic singlet oxygen
        generation during PDT for personalizing PDT dose parameters in the clinic
(iv) Probing the relationship between cancer nodule morphology and treatment
        response with novel live/dead fluorescent assays of in vitro 3D tissue cultures
(v) Non-invasive monitoring of in vivo tumor volume, vasculature, and
       oxygenation using ultrasound/photoacoustic imaging

A microscope with hyperspectral and endoscopic capabilities is used to monitor the delivery of the photosensitizer in the vascular and tissue compartments of tumors for PDT treatment planning, and to investigate the physiological changes in vascular permeability due to PDT as well as PDT-induced VEGF expression. We are also currently developing a fluorescence endoscope with high resolution down to the cellular level. In combination with a novel imaging agent providing high selectivity against ovarian cancer cells, we expect to enable ovarian cancer detection at earlier stages as compared to conventional diagnostic tools such as laparoscopes. We are also developing contrast agents that will help in the understanding of the molecular effects of PDT.