The influence of tissue optical properties on the shape of near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence emission spectra propagating through multiple centimeters of tissue-like media was investigated. Fluorescence emission spectra measured from 6 cm homogeneous tissue-simulating phantoms show dramatic spectral distortion which results in emission peak shifts of up to 60 nm in wavelength. Measured spectral shapes are highly dependent on the photon path length and the scattered photon field in the NIR amplifies the wavelength-dependent absorption of the fluorescence spectra. Simulations of the peak propagation using diffusion modeling describe the experimental observations and confirm the path length dependence of fluorescence emission spectra. Spectral changes are largest for long path length measurements and thus will be most important in human tomography studies in the NIR. Spectrally resolved detection strategies are required to detect and interpret these effects which may otherwise produce erroneous intensity measurements. This observed phenomenon is analogous to beam hardening in x-ray tomography, which can lead to image artifacts without appropriate compensation. The peak shift toward longer wavelengths, and therefore lower energy photons, observed for NIR luminescent signals propagating through tissue may readily be described as a beam softening phenomenon.
"The main advantage in the presented methodology is the acquisition of the fluorescence spectra in situ with the same device and under the same conditions as the fluorescence tomography data acquisition. This innovation can account for any spectral distortions due to the propagation of the fluorescence light through tissue with different optical properties and different pathlengths, thus improving significantly the localization of the object of interest at varying depths [34,35]. Furthermore, this feature could prove very important for accurate reconstruction and quantification in reflection geometry since autofluorescence could be accounted for as one additional fluorescence contributor and could then be efficiently subtracted . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Simultaneous detection of several biological processes in vivo is a common requirement in biomedical and biological applications, and in order to address this issue the use of multiple fluorophores is usually the method of choice. Existing methodologies however, do not provide quantitative feedback of multiple fluorophore concentrations in small animals in vivo when their spectra overlap, especially when imaging the whole body in 3D. Here we present an approach where a spectroscopic module has been implemented into a custom-built Fluorescence Molecular Tomography (FMT) system. In contrast with other multispectral approaches, this multimodal imaging system is capable of recording the fluorescence spectra from each illumination point during a tomographic measurement. In situ spectral information can thus be extracted and used to improve the separation of overlapping signals associated with different fluorophores. The results of this new approach tested on both in vitro and in vivo experiments are presented, proving that accurate recovery of fluorophore concentrations can be obtained from multispectral tomography data even in the presence of high autofluorescence.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bioluminescence imaging is a research tool for studying gene expression levels in small animal models of human disease. Bioluminescence light, however, is strongly scattered in biological tissue and no direct image of the light-emitting reporter probe's location can be obtained. Therefore, the authors have developed a linear image reconstruction method for bioluminescence tomography (BLT) that recovers the three-dimensional spatial bioluminescent source distribution in small animals.
The proposed reconstruction method uses third-order simplified spherical harmonics (SP3) solutions to the equation of radiative transfer for modeling the bioluminescence light propagation in optically nonuniform tissue. The SP3 equations and boundary conditions are solved with a finite-difference (FD) technique on a regular grid. The curved geometry of the animal surface was taken into account with a blocking-off region method for regular grids. Coregistered computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) images provide information regarding the geometry of the skin surface and internal organs. The inverse source problem is defined as an algebraic system of linear equations for the unknown source distribution and is iteratively solved given multiview and multispectral boundary measurements. The average tissue absorption parameters, which are used for the image reconstruction process, were calculated with an evolution strategy (ES) from in vivo measurements using an implanted pointlike source of known location and spectrum. Moreover, anatomical information regarding the location of the internal organs and other tissue structures within the animal's body are provided by coregistered MR images.
First, the authors recovered the wavelength-dependent absorption coefficients (average error of 14%) with the ES under ideal conditions by using a numerical mouse model. Next, they reconstructed the average absorption coefficient of a small animal by using an artificial implanted light source and the validated ES. Last, they conducted two in vivo animal experiments and recovered the spatial location of the implanted light source and the spatial distribution of a bioluminescent reporter system located in the kidneys. The source reconstruction results were coregistered to CT and MR images. They further found that accurate bioluminescence image reconstructions could be obtained when segmenting a voidlike cyst with low-scattering and absorption parameters, whereas inaccurate image reconstructions were obtained when assuming a uniform optical parameter distribution instead. The image reconstructions were completed within 23 min on a 3 GHz Intel processor.
The authors demonstrated on in vivo examples that the combination of anatomical coregistration, accurate optical tissue properties, multispectral acquisition, and a blocking-off FD-SP3 solution of the radiative transfer model significantly improves the accuracy of the BLT reconstructions.
Medical Physics 01/2010; 37(1):329-38. DOI:10.1118/1.3273034 · 2.64 Impact Factor
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