Early photon tomography allows fluorescence detection of lung carcinomas and disease progression in mice in vivo.
Imaging of targeted fluorescent probes offers significant advantages for investigating disease and tissue function in animal models in vivo. Conversely, macroscopic tomographic imaging is challenging because of the high scatter of light in biological tissue and the ill-posed nature of the reconstruction mathematics. In this work, we use the earliest-transmitted photons through Lewis Lung Carcinoma bearing mice, thereby dramatically reducing the effect of tissue scattering. By using a fluorescent probe sensitive to cysteine proteases, the method yielded outstanding imaging performance compared with conventional approaches. Accurate visualization of biochemical abnormalities was achieved, not only in the primary tumor, but also in the surrounding tissue related to cancer progression and inflammatory response at the organ level. These findings were confirmed histologically and with ex vivo fluorescence microscopy. The imaging fidelity demonstrated underscores a method that can use a wide range of fluorescent probes to accurately visualize cellular- and molecular-level events in whole animals in vivo.
Niedre, MJ; de Kleine, RH; Aikawa, E; Kirsch, DG; Weissleder, R; Ntziachristos, V
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