In Memoriam

Britton Chance

faculty photo
Department: Biochemistry and Biophysics

Contact information
250 Anatomy-Chemistry Bldg.
3620 Hamilton Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: (215) 898-4639
Fax: (215) 898-1806
B.S. (Chemistry)
University of Pennsylvania, 1935.
M.S. (Chemistry)
University of Pennsylvania, 1936.
Ph.D. (Physical Chemistry)
University of Pennsylvania, 1940.
Ph.D. (Biology "B", Physiology)
Cambridge University, 1942.
D.Sc. (Biology "B", Physiology)
Cambridge University, 1952.
Permanent link
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests
-cancer detection: angiogenesis, hypermetabolism, molecular beacons, high resolution diagnostic cryoimaging, home care detectors.
-cognitive imaging: metabolic responses, deceit, malevolence, hemodynamic response measured by NIR imaging.
-skeletal muscle function: oxygenation, blood volume in exercise; olympic athletes, geriatrics, and mitochondrial and vascular diseases.
-cardiac hypoxia: transthoracic myocardial oxygenation.
-computer simulation of heterogeneity of cancer.

Key words: peroxidases, cytochromes, dehydrogenases, skeletal muscle, exercise performance, prefrontal cortex, learning, emotional stress, dual wavelength spectroscopy, electron tunneling, Phosphorus NMR spectroscopy, NIR spectroscopy and imaging, NADH, flavoprotein, molecular beacons, fetal brain in utero, cardiac muscle trans-thoracic, metabolomics.

Description of Research
Dr. Chance's research interests cover a manifold of biochemical, biophysical and medical topics beginning with the discovery of the enzyme substrate compounds of peroxidase and the mechanical differential analyzer solutions of the Michaelis-Menten equations. He branched out into a wide range of studies of enzyme substrate compounds of catalases and peroxidases and, with an ingenious optical method, the discovery of the NADH and flavin components of the respiratory chain together with the observation of multi-site respiratory control and quantum mechanical electron tunneling in the photosynthetic reaction center. The studies were carried out not only in vitro but in vivo (e.g. online human brain redox monitoring in the operating room) and formed the basis for the development of sensitive spectrophotometric methods at room and low temperatures for studying biological systems. The Chance dual wavelength spectrophotometer is still in widespread use. Early studies of NMR progressed from hedgehog brain to human leg (the first human subject NMR studies, using a 1.5T magnet) and thereafter to such applications as diagnosis and treatment of mitochondrial disease and 31P NMR of human neonate neuroblastoma in situ using PME as an indicator of tumor growth or regression. These studies led to the development of near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy and imaging for real time metabolic studies of brain (hematoma detection, prefrontal cortex monitoring, fetal brain oxygenation in utero), breast (cancer detection using signals of angiogenesis and hypermetabolism), skeletal muscle (metabolic monitoring) and cardiac muscle (trans-thoracic detection of hypoxia of myocardium). Many of these studies are ongoing, particularly PFC monitoring during cognition, stress, and deception; and early detection of breast cancer using simple, economical, portable and handheld devices. New fields of research include development and use of high resolution 2- and 3D cryoimaging using molecular beacons for detection of heterogeneity in tumors, and monitoring the effects of cancer treatments including photodynamic therapies.

Rotation Projects for 2006-2007
Molecular beacons in detection of cancer.
Imaging of cortical function in problem solving, emotional distress, deceit, etc.
Technical development particularly NIR optical spectroscopy and imaging.

Lab personnel:
Huang, Ping: Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Busch , David: Ph.D. Student
Im, Joohee: Ph.D. Student
Ranji, Mahsa: Ph.D. Student
Wang, Xin: Ph.D. Student
Xing, Ye: Ph.D. Student
Zhou, Lanlan: Ph.D. Student
Du, Juan: B.S., Research Technician
Lech, Gwen M.: B.S., Research Technician
Zhang, Jun: M.S., Research Technician
Zhao, Zhongyao: M.S., Research Technician
Zhong, Tuoxiu: M.S., Research Technician

Selected Publications

Yu Chen, Xavier Intes, Shuoming Zhou, Chenpeng Mu, Monica J Holboke, Arjun G Yodh, Britton Chance: Detection sensitivity and optimization of a phased-array system. SPIE 4250: 211-218, Jun 2001.

Yueqing Gu, Britton Chance, Ching H Tung, Ralph Weissleder: Study of the characteristics of protease-activated NIR fluorescent probes in tumors by using a 3D high-resolution image system. SPIE 4250: 196-203, Jun 2001.

Xavier Intes, K A Kang, Monica J Holboke, Arjun G Yodh, Britton Chance: Dual interfering sources with a fluorescent object. SPIE 4160: 140-142, Nov 2000.

Steven L Jacques, Nirmala Ramanujam, Gargi Vishnoi, Regine Choe, Britton Chance: Modeling photon transport in transabdominal fetal oximetry. J. of Biomed. Opt. 5(3): 277-82, Jul 2000.

Zhu Q, Conant E, Chance B: Optical imaging as an adjunct to sonograph in differentiating benign from malignant breast lesions. J. of Biomed Opt 5(2): 229-36, Apr 2000.

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Last updated: 02/17/2010
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