Adaptive Design of Fluorescence Imaging Systems for Custom Resolution, Fields of View, and Geometries.
Objective and Impact Statement: We developed a generalized computational approach to design uniform, high-intensity excitation light for low-cost, quantitative fluorescence imaging of in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo samples with a single device. Introduction: Fluorescence imaging is a ubiquitous tool for biomedical applications. Researchers extensively modify existing systems for tissue imaging, increasing the time and effort needed for translational research and thick tissue imaging. These modifications are application-specific, requiring new designs to scale across sample types. Methods: We implemented a computational model to simulate light propagation from multiple sources. Using a global optimization algorithm and a custom cost function, we determined the spatial positioning of optical fibers to generate 2 illumination profiles. These results were implemented to image core needle biopsies, preclinical mammary tumors, or tumor-derived organoids. Samples were stained with molecular probes and imaged with uniform and nonuniform illumination. Results: Simulation results were faithfully translated to benchtop systems. We demonstrated that uniform illumination increased the reliability of intraimage analysis compared to nonuniform illumination and was concordant with traditional histological findings. The computational approach was used to optimize the illumination geometry for the purposes of imaging 3 different fluorophores through a mammary window chamber model. Illumination specifically designed for intravital tumor imaging generated higher image contrast compared to the case in which illumination originally optimized for biopsy images was used. Conclusion: We demonstrate the significance of using a computationally designed illumination for in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo fluorescence imaging. Application-specific illumination increased the reliability of intraimage analysis and enhanced the local contrast of biological features. This approach is generalizable across light sources, biological applications, and detectors.