Multi-modal molecular diffuse optical tomography system for small animal imaging

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A multi-modal optical imaging system for quantitative 3D bioluminescence and functional diffuse imaging is presented, which has no moving parts and uses mirrors to provide multi-view tomographic data for image reconstruction. It is demonstrated that through the use of trans-illuminated spectral near-infrared measurements and spectrally constrained tomographic reconstruction, recovered concentrations of absorbing agents can be used as prior knowledge for bioluminescence imaging within the visible spectrum. Additionally, the first use of a recently developed multi-view optical surface capture technique is shown and its application to model-based image reconstruction and free-space light modelling is demonstrated. The benefits of model-based tomographic image recovery as compared to two-dimensional (2D) planar imaging are highlighted in a number of scenarios where the internal luminescence source is not visible or is confounding in 2D images. The results presented show that the luminescence tomographic imaging method produces 3D reconstructions of individual light sources within a mouse-sized solid phantom that are accurately localized to within 1.5 mm for a range of target locations and depths, indicating sensitivity and accurate imaging throughout the phantom volume. Additionally the total reconstructed luminescence source intensity is consistent to within 15%, which is a dramatic improvement upon standard bioluminescence imaging. Finally, results from a heterogeneous phantom with an absorbing anomaly are presented, demonstrating the use and benefits of a multi-view, spectrally constrained coupled imaging system that provides accurate 3D luminescence images.


Original languageEnglish
Article number105405
Number of pages22
JournalMeasurement Science and Technology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2013


  • diffuse optical tomography, bioluminescence tomography, bioluminescence imaging, surface capture, small animal imaging, molecular imaging, multi-modality, image reconstruction, imaging systems