Optical Theranostics Using Red Blood Cells

Bahman Anvari, Ph.D.
Via Zoom
Cell-based systems present a new type of platform in contemporary medicine for the delivery of a wide range of therapeutic, imaging, and biosensing cargos. In particular, red blood cells (RBCs) have been an attractive platform due to their potential biocompatibility, low immunogenicity, and natural mechanisms for elimination. Using RBCs, we have engineered particle delivery systems that can be loaded with various materials including the FDA-approved near infrared (NIR) chromophore, indocyanine green. In this seminar, I will provide some of the optical and physical characteristics of these particles, and demonstrate their capability as photo-theranostic constructs for NIR imaging and photo-therapeutic applications in cancer and cutaneous diseases such as the port wine stain using relevant animal models. I will also describe the importance of the membrane biochemical and biomechanical properties of these delivery systems towards prolonged circulation.