We explored plasmon resonant nanorods of gold as a contrast agent for optical coherence tomography (OCT). Nanorod suspensions were generated through wet chemical synthesis and characterized with spectrophotometry, transmission electron microscopy, and OCT. Polyacrylamide-based phantoms were generated with appropriate scattering and anisotropy coefficients ( and 0.89, respectively) to image distribution of the contrast agent in an environment similar to that of tissue. The observed signal was dependent on whether the plasmon resonance peak overlapped the source bandwidth of the OCT, confirming the resonant character of enhancement. Gold nanorods with plasmon resonance wavelengths overlapping the OCT source yielded a signal-to-background ratio of , relative to the tissue phantom. Strategies for OCT imaging with nanorods are discussed.
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