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Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2009;2009:6331-4. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2009.5333167.

Complete angle small animal fluorescence imaging with early-arriving photons.

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  • 1Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Fluorescence mediated tomography allows quantitative, three-dimensional imaging of optical reporter probes in whole animals and is therefore emerging as a powerful molecular imaging tool. The achievable image quality in fluorescence tomography is limited by the high-degree of light scatter in biological tissue. Time-gated detection of early-arriving and therefore minimally-scattered photons transmitted through diffusive tissue is one strategy for minimizing the effects of light scatter. In this work, we performed full-angle tomographic imaging of mice implanted with fluorescent tubes using time-gated detection of early- and later-arriving photons. This was achieved using a femtosecond laser and a high-speed, time-gated intensified CCD imager. We demonstrate that the early-transmitted fluorescent photons allow improved visualization of the fluorescence distribution, even when considering individual projections through the animal. High-fidelity image reconstruction using 72 projections in 5-degree steps using early-arriving photons is also demonstrated.

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