In this study, in vivo animal experiments are performed on implanted xenograph prostatic tumors in nude mice to investigate enhanced laser energy absorption in the tumors by an intratumoral injection of gold nanorod solutions. In vivo temperature mapping of the tumors during laser photothermal therapy has shown the feasibility of elevating tumor temperatures higher than 50 °C using only 0.1 ml nanorod solution and a low laser irradiance of 1.6 W/cm2 incident on the tumor surface. The temperature profile suggests that normal tumor tissue still absorbs some amount of the laser energy without nanorod presence; however, the injected nanorods ensure that almost all the laser energy is absorbed and confined to the targeted tumors. The inverse relationship between the temperature elevations and the tumor size implies a relatively uniform spreading of the nanorods to the entire tumor, which is also shown by microcomputed tomography (microCT) imaging analyses. The feasibility of detecting 250 OD gold nanorod solution injected to the tumors is demonstrated via a high resolution microCT imaging system. Compared to other nanostructures, the gold nanorods used in this study do not accumulate surrounding the injection site. The relatively uniform deposition of the nanorods in the tumors observed by the microCT scans can be helpful in future study in simplifying theoretical simulation of temperature elevations in tumors during laser photothermal therapy.

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