Intravital microscopy for evaluating tumor perfusion of nanoparticles exposed to non-invasive radiofrequency electric fields

Norman A. Lapin, Martyna Krzykawska-Serda, Matthew J. Ware, Steven A. Curley, Stuart J. Corr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Poor biodistribution and accumulation of chemotherapeutics in tumors due to limitations on diffusive transport and high intra-tumoral pressures (Jain RK, Nat Med. 7(9):987–989, 2001) have prompted the investigation of adjunctive therapies to improve treatment outcomes. Hyperthermia has been widely applied in attempts to meet this need, but it is limited in its ability to reach tumors in deeply located body regions. High-intensity radiofrequency (RF) electric fields have the potential to overcome such barriers enhancing delivery and extravasation of chemotherapeutics. However, due to factors, including tumor heterogeneity and lack of kinetic information, there is insufficient understanding of time-resolved interaction between RF fields and tumor vasculature, drug molecules and nanoparticle (NP) vectors. Intravital microscopy (IVM) provides time-resolved high-definition images of specific tumor microenvironments, overcoming heterogeneity issues, and can be integrated with a portable RF device to enable detailed observation over time of the effects of the RF field on kinetics and biodistribution at the microvascular level. Herein, we provide a protocol describing the safe integration of IVM with a high-powered non-invasive RF field applied to 4T1 orthotopic breast tumors in live mice. Results show increased perfusion of NPs in microvasculature upon RF hyperthermia treatment and increased perfusion, release and spreading of injected reagents preferentially in irregular vessels during RF exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5
JournalCancer Nanotechnology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016


  • Cancer
  • Hyperthermia
  • Intravital microscopy
  • Quantum dots
  • Radiofrequency fields
  • Vasculature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Oncology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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