Fluorescence Molecular Imaging

 - Inflammation, tumor, myocardial infarction

Molecular imaging is defined as visualization and measurement of biological processes at the cellular or molecular level inside the living body. Recently, fluorescence molecular imaging has received particular attention to provide highly sensitive and versatile tool for biological research and clinical diagnosis. Our group is interested in development of novel fluorescent imaging technologies for intraoperative guidance, diagnosis and prognostication of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Also, we focus on multimodal imaging strategy by combining with PET and SPECT molecular imaging to achieve whole body noninvasive diagnosis and accurate surgical guidance with same functional information.


Collaborators: Prof. Won Woo Lee, Prof. Byung-Chul Lee (Department of Nuclear Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine) 

Fluorescence imaging of lymph node metastasis. Up) metastasized lymph node in tumor model. Down) normal lymph node

Label-free In Vivo Imaging

 - optical property based tissue imaging

Nanomedicine with Intravital Imaging

Optical imaging has the potential to aid surgeons to perform surgery faster, better and less expensively than current standards. We aim to develop spectral reflectance imaging system for label-free intraoperative imaging for specific tissue identification. Our study includes 1) Investigation of novel optical characteristics of tissue 2) Design and construction of spectral reflectance imaging system 3) Development of image processing technique to display anatomical and functional images simultaneously in real-time 4) Intraoperative imaging of specific tissue in disease models.


Collaborator: Prof. Changsoon Kim (Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology, Seoul National University)

Grant: Mid-Career Researcher Program, National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF, MSIP)

Nanomaterials can advance personalized clinical care by providing diagnostic and prognostic information, quantifying therapy efficacy and planning better treatment strategy. Imaging and treating inflammation and tumor have particular benefits when using nanomaterials. However, there is an urgent need to develop more specific nanoprobe/nanodrug and exploit their in vivo distribution and dynamics accurately. We utilize high-resolution intravital imaging as well as whole-body fluorescence imaging to speculate characteristics of nanomaterials inside living body and develop specific nanoprobe/nanodrug by cancer or macrophage targeting.


Collaborator: Prof. Yuanzhe Piao (Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology, Seoul National University), Dr. Tae-Rin Lee (Advanced Institutes of Convergence Technology), Prof. Pilhan Kim (KAIST)

Bioapplication of Terahertz Wave

Terahertz (THz) waves, which lies between microwave and infrared regions (frequencies from 0.1 THz to 10 THz), have attracted great interest and are now the subject of interdisciplinary researches. A variety of applications have shown initial promise for their biomedical use, particularly in broadband THz pulse source based imaging including noninvasive diagnosis of cancer, intraoperative tumor margin identification, and in vivo skin and cornea hydration sensing. However, efforts to reveal the THz-induced effects at cellular and molecular levels, especially how biological objects interact with THz waves having specific frequency and intensity, is scarce and remains challenging. Recent progress in theoretical modelling and experiments for molecular spectroscopy have shown that many important biomolecules, including DNA and proteins, have intrinsic vibrational resonances in the THz range (<3 THz). Therefore, THz irradiation may direct biochemical reactions and biological energy transport resulting in cellular function change. Our focus is given to measurement of biological effects on hair follicles since skin tissue is most relevant for potential clinical applications due to limited penetration of THz waves and hair follicle is well-defined location to monitor cell proliferation or apoptosis. For such investigation, we utilize a continuous wave THz source which irradiates at 0.2THz and 0.4THz and equips an intensity controllable optical system.


Collaborator: Dr. Seong-Tae Han (Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute)