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J Biomed Opt. 2007 Jan-Feb;12(1):014009.

Three-dimensional imaging of whole rodent organs using optical computed and emission tomography.

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  • 1Duke University Medical Center, Department of Radiation Oncology and Biomedical Engineering, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA. mark.oldham@duke.edu

Abstract

We explore the potential of optical computed tomography (optical-CT) and optical emission computed tomography (optical-ECT) in a new area-whole organ imaging. The techniques are implemented on an in-house prototype benchtop system with improved image quality and the capacity to image larger samples (up to 3 cm) than previous systems based on stereo microscopes. Imaging performance tests confirm high geometrical accuracy, accurate relative measurement of linear attenuation coefficients, and the ability to image features at the 50-microm level. Optical labeling of organ microvasculature was achieved using two stains deposited via natural in vivo circulatory processes: a passive absorbing ink-based stain and an active fluorescin FITC-lectin conjugate. The lectin protein binds to the endothelial lining, and FITC fluorescense enables optical-ECT imaging. Three-dimensional (3-D) optical-CT images have been acquired of a normal rat heart and left lung and a mouse right lung showing exquisite detail of the functional vasculature and relative perfusion distribution. Coregistered optical-ECT images were also acquired of the mouse lung and kidney. Histological sections confirmed effective labeling of microvasculature throughout the organs. The advantages of optical-CT and optical-ECT include the potential for a unique combination of high resolution and high contrast and compatibility with a wide variety of optical probes, including gene expression labeling fluorescent reporter proteins.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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