PloS one

Grating-based phase-contrast imaging of tumor angiogenesis in lung metastases.

PMID 25811626


To assess the feasibility of the grating-based phase-contrast imaging (GPI) technique for studying tumor angiogenesis in nude BALB/c mice, without contrast agents. We established lung metastatic models of human gastric cancer by injecting the moderately differentiated SGC-7901 gastric cancer cell line into the tail vein of nude mice. Samples were embedded in a 10% formalin suspension and dried before imaging. Grating-based X-ray phase-contrast images were obtained at the BL13W beamline of the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility (SSRF) and compared with histological sections. Without contrast agents, grating-based X-ray phase-contrast imaging still differentiated angiogenesis within metastatic tumors with high spatial resolution. Vessels, down to tens of microns, showed gray values that were distinctive from those of the surrounding tumors, which made them easily identifiable. The vessels depicted in the imaging study were similar to those identified on histopathology, both in size and shape. Our preliminary study demonstrates that grating-based X-ray phase-contrast imaging has the potential to depict angiogenesis in lung metastases.