Development of a noncontact 3-D fluorescence tomography system for small animal in vivo imaging.
Fluorescence imaging is an important tool for tracking molecular-targeting probes in preclinical studies. It offers high sensitivity, but nonetheless low spatial resolution compared to other leading imaging methods such CT and MRI. We demonstrate our methodological development in small animal in vivo whole-body imaging using fluorescence tomography. We have implemented a noncontact fluid-free fluorescence diffuse optical tomography system that uses a raster-scanned continuous-wave diode laser as the light source and an intensified CCD camera as the photodetector. The specimen is positioned on a motorized rotation stage. Laser scanning, data acquisition, and stage rotation are controlled via LabVIEW applications. The forward problem in the heterogeneous medium is based on a normalized Born method, and the sensitivity function is determined using a Monte Carlo method. The inverse problem (image reconstruction) is performed using a regularized iterative algorithm, in which the cost function is defined as a weighted sum of the L-2 norms of the solution image, the residual error, and the image gradient. The relative weights are adjusted by two independent regularization parameters. Our initial tests of this imaging system were performed with an imaging phantom that consists of a translucent plastic cylinder filled with tissue-simulating liquid and two thin-wall glass tubes containing indocyanine green. The reconstruction is compared to the output of a finite element method-based software package NIRFAST and has produced promising results.
Zhang, X; Badea, C; Jacob, M; Johnson, GA
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