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PhD Thesis Proposal: Sidhartha Jandhyala



3:00pm - 4:00pm ET


For info on how to attend this videoconference, please email

"Ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging in conjunction with molecularly targeted contrast agents to detect metastatic lymph nodes in head and neck cancers"


Minimally invasive accurate detection of early stage cancer is a long-term goal of cancer therapy. This work aims to create a platform using ultrasound, photoacoustic imaging and nanodroplets for imaging and detection of metastatic lymph nodes. The design considerations and characterization of the custom ultrasound and photoacoustic system are described. A convolutional neural network was developed to predict the blood oxygen saturation from the photoacoustic images collected from the custom imaging system to detect metastasis. In addition to developing the imaging system and accompanying machine learning algorithm, ultrasound contrast agent nanoparticles capable of being imaged with the system were also developed. The nanoparticles consist of a perfluorocarbon core, which when exposed to either an acoustic or optical stimulus undergo a phase change producing the contrast in the image. The nanoparticles underwent surface modifications to effectively conjugate IgG antibodies to the surface. Cell studies were performed to evaluate the selective targeting of the antibody conjugated nanoparticles. Based on the results, the antibody conjugated nanoparticles in conjunction with our custom imaging setup shows promise to be able to detect metastatic lymph nodes in-vivo.

Thesis Committee

  • Geoffrey Luke, PhD
  • Brian Pogue, PhD
  • Kimberly Samkoe, PhD
  • Stanislav Emelianov, PhD


For more information, contact Daryl Laware at